Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid Vaccine Accepted by UK Regulatory Company

A Brazilian doctor will voluntarily receive an injection in July 2020 as part of phase 3 trials of a vaccine developed by Oxford University and UK pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

Nelson Almeida | AFP | Getty Images

LONDON – The coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca has been approved for emergency use in the UK. This is another step in the global fight against the pandemic.

The shot is expected to be launched next week and added to the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, which has so far been given to 600,000 people in the UK, according to government statistics.

UK Government Secretary Michael Gove said Monday that his approval could expedite the lifting of strict lockdowns in the country, effectively canceling Christmas festivities for millions. Cases have soared in London and the south of England and hospitals have come under significant pressure. A new variant of the coronavirus in the UK is reportedly more transferable and has resulted in travel restrictions for people trying to leave the country.

With the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, the UK can significantly accelerate its vaccination program as the government has ordered 100 million doses. It’s also cheaper than others and doesn’t need to be stored at extremely low temperatures.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine is a viral vector vaccine based on a weakened version of the common cold virus that causes infections in chimpanzees. It is designed to prepare the immune system to attack the coronavirus known as SARS-CoV-2 when it later infects the body.

Dr. Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the medical journal The Lancet, told CNBC in December that these benefits meant more effective use around the world.

“The Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine is currently the vaccine that can immunize the planet more effectively and faster than any other vaccine we have,” said Horton, adding that it is important to think about vaccine vaccination on a global scale, “Because yourself if we immunize a country the threat is that you will reintroduce the virus from another country that is not protected. “

The confusion over the trial dates in November led to criticism of AstraZeneca. The first numbers suggest the vaccine may help reduce the spread of Covid-19 and prevent disease and death. This study also found an efficacy of 62% for subjects who were given two full doses, but 90% for a subgroup who received half a dose followed by a full dose.

Moncef Slaoui, head of Operation Warp Speed ​​of the White House, and others in the US expressed concern about the age group tested, saying the 90% effectiveness was only shown for the lowest risk group, the 2,741 people among 55 years.

– CNBC’s Sam Meredith contributed to this article.

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