AstraZeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccine first approved by Britain

On Wednesday, Britain became the first country in the world to approve a coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. This vaccine will play a major role in fighting against the new contagious variants of the virus.

AstraZeneca said that the authorization was for a two-dose regime and also said that the vaccine had been approved for use for emergency supply. Britain has ordered almost 100million doses of the vaccine. The health ministry exclaimed, “The government has today accepted the recommendation from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to authorize Oxford University/AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine for use.”

The pandemic has already killed 1.7million people around the world, sown chaos through the worldwide economy, and toppled normal life for billions since it began in Wuhan, China a year ago.

However, Britain and South Africa are grappling with new variants of the coronavirus, which the government and scientists have confirmed as the most contagious. Many countries have responded to this pandemic by banning passenger flights and blocking trade. AstraZeneca and many other developers have conveyed that they are now studying the effect of the new variants but they are expecting their shots will be effective against it.

Well, the regulatory endorsement is a welcome boost for AstraZeneca and the Oxford team, which have been accused for lack of clarity about the output from late-stage trials. Results from those trials show it had overall efficacy was 70.4%. Efficacy was 62% for trial participants given two full doses, but 90% for smaller sub-group given a half, then a full dose.

Researchers exclaimed that the finding of 90% efficacy for the low-dose/high-dose regime needed more investigation. AstraZeneca yet didn’t specify which dose regime has been approved. AstraZeneca Chief Executive Pascal Soriot exclaimed, “Today is an important day for millions of people in the UK who will get access to this new vaccine. It has been shown to be effective, well-tolerated, simple to administer and is supplied by AstraZeneca at no profit.”

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