Johnson says 'months' until all vulnerable get COVID jabs

"It will inevitably take some months before all the most vulnerable are protected," Johnson told a media conference after Britain approved the first COVID vaccine tested in wide-scale clinical trials.

Britain approved Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday, jumping ahead of the rest of the world in the race to begin the most crucial mass innoculation programme in history with a shot tested in wide-scale clinical trials.

Britain's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) granted emergency use approval to the vaccine developed by Pfizer and German biotechnology partner BioNTech , which they say is 95% effective in preventing illness, just 23 days after Pfizer published the first data from its final stage clinical trial.

England's Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam urged people to get vaccinated, as he warned that the virus may never be fully eradicated.

"Do I think there will come a big moment where we kind of, you know, have a massive party and throw our masks and hand sanitizer and say 'that's it, it's behind us,' like the end of the war? No, I don't," he said.