Britain okays vaccine as global Covid death toll nears 1.5 million

London (AFP) – Britain on Wednesday became the first western country to approve a Covid-19 vaccine for general use, while Japan and Italy pledged free inoculations for all even as the  global death toll rose towards 1.5 million.Just 12 months after the pandemic broke out in China, the UK’s independent medicines regulator gave a green light to the BioNTech-Pfizer drug in double-quick time but insisted safety had come first.”Everybody can be confident that no corners whatsoever have been cut,” said Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) chief executive June Raine. “The public…

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