United Kingdom approves Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine



The UK on Wednesday approved a cheaper and easy-to-handle COVID-19 vaccine developed by scientists at Oxford University and produced by AstraZeneca, the second coronavirus vaccine to be cleared for rollout in Britain after the Pfizer-BioNTech jabs.

The Oxford vaccine, which also has a tie-up with the Serum Institute of India, was being tested by the British regulator - the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) - after the final cut of data was submitted by the government last week.

The approval by the MHRA means the vaccine is both “safe and effective” and the government’s Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said that the National Health Service (NHS) will prioritise giving the first of the two-dose vaccine to those in the most high-risk groups quickly.

“It is truly fantastic news and a triumph for British science that the vaccine has been approved for use. We will now move to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible,” said British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock confirmed that the rollout of the second approved vaccine will begin on January 4 and will speed up into the first few weeks of next year". (PTI)