BioNTech says 140,000 vaccinated in Britain so far

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine has been given to 140,000 people in Britain, and the feedback on side effects and tolerability has been reassuring, BioNTech's chief medical officer said on Thursday.

Britain was the first to approve the shot for emergency use on Dec. 3, followed by Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

"In Britain, 140,000 people have been vaccinated by now and the tolerability data are exactly as we have shown in our clinical trial," Chief Medical Officer Oezlem Tuereci said in a webcast call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

She said side effects have been mild to moderate and short-lived and similar to those typically seen in other commonly used vaccines.

The German biotech firm's Chief Executive Ugur Sahin said in the call that he was confident that normal life could resume by next winter.

(Reporting by Ludwig Burger; editing by Thomas Seythal)