Britain became first country to approve AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine

Vastavam web: Britain on Wednesday became the first country in the world to approve a coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca as it battles a major winter surge driven by a new, highly contagious variant of the virus. Britain has already ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine, and the government said it had accepted the recommendation from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to grant emergency authorisation.

“The NHS (National Health Service) will be able to deliver these shots into people’s arms at the speed at which it can be manufactured,” Health Secretary Matt Hancock told. “I am also now, with this approval this morning, highly confident that we can get enough vulnerable people vaccinated by the spring that we can now see our route out of this pandemic.” He said hundreds of thousands of doses would be available to administer in Britain next week.

The vaccine has been found in trials to be less effective than one developed by Pfizer of the United States and BioNTech of Germany but, crucially for countries with more basic health infrastructure, can be stored and transported under normal refrigeration, rather than at -70 degrees Celsius (-94 Fahrenheit).

Source: Reuters