University Of Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine Approved For Use In UK
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The University of Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine has been approved for use in the UK.
According to reports, the UK has ordered 100 million doses from the manufacturer, which would be enough to vaccinate 50 million people.
The vaccine was first developed in the earlier part of this year, with volunteers taking part in trials. It has since been tested on thousands of people, and now approved for roll-out.
It is the second vaccine to be given the green light, with the Pfizer-BioNTech jab having been administered to more than 600,000 people so far.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is a genetically modified version of the common cold virus.
It has been engineered in order to stop the person from being infected, instead laying the foundations for a part of the coronavirus called the 'spike protein'.
Once inside, it causes the body to produce this protein, which the immune system quickly stamps out.
Then, when the person comes into contact with the deadly virus, it already knows how to deal with it.
According to data published in The Lancet medical journal, the vaccine was 62 percent effective in preventing Covid-19 among a group of 4,440 people who were given two doses.
While among 1,367 people given a half dose first followed by a full dose a second time, there was 90 percent protection against Covid-19.
Unlike the current vaccine, it doesn't need to be kept at incredibly low temperatures, meaning it is much more easily transported.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: "The Government has today accepted the recommendation from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to authorise Oxford University/AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine for use.
"This follows rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by experts at the MHRA, which has concluded that the vaccine has met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness."
AstraZeneca boss Pascal Soriot told The Sunday Times recently that he thinks the researchers had discovered the 'winning formula' for their two-dose vaccine that is as effective as any other vaccine being developed.
He told the publication: "We think we have figured out the winning formula and how to get efficacy that, after two doses, is up there with everybody else."
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak praised the efforts of the vaccination staff on the NHS, as well as those who have developed them.
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, he said: "There will be tough days and months ahead, but there are reasons to look ahead to a brighter future and what 2021 promises.
"The early roll-out of vaccines - and the incredible work of our scientists and NHS - means we can now see light at the end of the tunnel with this pandemic."