Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said he is “absolutely thrilled” as the UK becomes the first place in the world to have a clinically authorised coronavirus vaccine.

British regulator, the MHRA, has approved the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for rollout saying the jab that has shown 95% effectiveness could be available from next week.

The UK has ordered 40 million doses and immunisations could start within days for those who need it most including elderly people in care homes and frontline NHS staff.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted his delight, saying: "It's the protection of vaccines that will ultimately allow us to reclaim our lives and get the economy moving again."

The vaccine that has taken 10 months to create has become the fastest ever to go from concept to reality – a process that would usually take the best part of a decade.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock spoke to BBC Breakfast to share his pride.

“This news for so long we’ve been saying that if a vaccine is developed then things will get better in 2021,” he said.

“Now we can finally say, when this vaccine is rolled out, things will get better and we’ll start that process next week.

“I’m obviously absolutely thrilled with the news and very proud that the UK is the first place in the world to have a clinically authorised vaccine ready to go.”

He continued: “We’ll start with people most vulnerable to coronavirus, you’ll need two jabs 21 days apart and after that we will start protecting people.

“Once we’ve protected the most vulnerable it will help us get back to normal.”

Later on Wednesday morning the Health Secretary appeared on Good Morning Britain speaking to Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid where he explained everyone will be vaccinated whether they’ve had the virus or not.

Susanna Reid asked: “You have already had COVID, so why would you then have the vaccine?”

“We don’t yet know the impact of having COVID on whether you’re immune or don’t transmit it again and so we’ll be vaccinating people whether or not they’ve had COVID.

“That’s one of the things that has been looked into by the scientists and they think that we should just vaccinate people whether or not they’ve had the disease.”

Around 50 hospitals are on standby and vaccination centres are in the process of being set up in what NHS Chief Executive, Sir Simon Stevens described as “the largest-scale vaccination campaign in our country’s history”.