UK Approves AstraZeneca Vaccine and Delays Second Dose to 3 Months

AstraZeneca has developed the vaccine with Oxford University. The Muslim Times has the latest and the best about vaccines

Britain Authorizes Covid-19 Vaccine From Oxford and AstraZeneca

Health officials are hoping to soon vaccinate a million people per week as the country’s hospitals are overwhelmed by cases of a new, more contagious variant of the virus.

Source: New York Times

By Benjamin Mueller and Rebecca Robbins

LONDON — Britain became the first country on Wednesday to give emergency authorization to the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, opening a path for a cheap and easy-to-store shot that much of the world will rely on to help end the pandemic.

In a bold decision to accelerate vaccinations, a British government advisory body directed clinicians to give as many people as possible their first dose of a coronavirus vaccine, without reserving supplies for planned second doses.

Instead of administering the two shots within a month, clinicians will wait as long as 12 weeks to give people their second doses, the government said, a decision that applies to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as well as the Pfizer-BioNTech shot that Britain authorized early this month.

With the vaccination rollout moving slowly in both Britain and the United States, British officials were heeding calls to delay the second doses as a way of giving more people the partial protection of a single dose. Matt Hancock, the health secretary, said people would start receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine early next week.

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Categories: Vaccine

5 replies

  1. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved for use in the UK, with the first doses due to be given on Monday amid rising coronavirus cases.

    The UK has ordered 100 million doses – enough to vaccinate 50 million people.

    This will cover the entire population, when combined with the full order of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said.

    It comes as millions more people in England are expected to be placed under the toughest tier four restrictions.

    On Tuesday, 53,135 new Covid cases were recorded in the UK – the highest single day rise since mass testing began – as well as 414 more deaths within 28 days of a positive test.

    Dr June Raine, head of the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory products Agency (MHRA), said the vaccine would save tens of thousands of lives, adding “no corners have been cut” in assessing the safety and effectiveness of the jab.

  2. A regulatory panel advised against mixing doses because a combination hasn’t been tested, but it’s possible shots could be pooled in the future if studies show that can produce an enhanced immune response.

    The U.K.’s Vaccine Taskforce has outlined plans to test combinations of approved shots next year to see if a mix could boost immunity, the panel said this month. The first tests will combine the Pfizer and Astra vaccines.

    A combination should work for vaccines that target the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, according to Andrew Pollard, who led the University of Oxford’s vaccine trial with Astra. Both vaccines, as well as the Moderna one on sale in the U.S., use the spike protein as a target.

  3. The United Kingdom on Wednesday become the first country to approve the coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. The shot is cheaper and easier to distribute than alternatives, and is expected to play a crucial role in boosting the global economy next year.

    AstraZeneca said the first doses were being released Wednesday, and that vaccinations will begin early in the New Year. The rollout comes amid a dramatic surge in coronavirus cases in the United Kingdom.
    “This regimen was shown in clinical trials to be safe and effective at preventing symptomatic Covid-19, with no severe cases and no hospitalisations more than 14 days after the second dose,” AstraZeneca said.

    Why is this vaccine so important to the global economy?

  4. The COVID-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca wasn’t the first to be OK’d by regulators in the U.K.—health officials authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech jab nearly four weeks earlier. And it’s not the most effective—Stage 3 clinical trials suggest it prevents COVID-19 symptoms about 70% of the time vs. about 95% for the Pfizer vaccine and a similar one from Moderna (which is authorized in the U.S., but not the U.K.).

    But the greenlight from the British Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency on Wednesday could be a big step toward bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control worldwide.

    It’s especially big news for the developing world because it’s cheaper and easier to handle and store. Countries from India to Brazil to South Africa have made big bets on the shot from the celebrated British university and the U.K.-Swedish drugmaker. The U.K. was the first country to allow use of the vaccine, but India is expected to follow suit within days. Trials are ongoing in the U.S. and in multiple other countries.

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