Oxford / AstraZeneca Vaccine: The British regulator approves another coronavirus vaccine

The UK government said it will follow a new vaccination strategy for the vaccine, which will prioritize giving the first dose in a series of two doses of the vaccine to as many people as possible, before administering a second dose 12 weeks later.

This will apply to the newly approved Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine and the already released Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine.

“This is important because it means we can get the first dose of more people more quickly and they can get the protection that the first dose gives you,” British Health Secretary Matt Hancock told Sky News on Wednesday.

“Scientists and regulators have looked at the data and found that you are getting what they call“ very effective protection ”from the first dose. The second dose is still important – especially for long-term protection – but it means that we will be able to vaccinate more people more quickly than we can in the previous “.

The United Kingdom is the first country to have approved the Oxford / AstraZeneca University vaccine. The news represents a glimmer of hope for the country as health services struggle to cope with soaring infection rates. Associated with a new, more contagious type of virus.

The approval comes weeks after the country becomes the country The first in the world to start vaccinating its own citizens With competing Pfizer / BioNTech coronavirus vaccine.

The UK government’s scientific advisor, Professor Callum Semple, welcomed what he called a new “cutting edge approach”, telling Sky News that “a single dose approach to start with would protect a large number of people.”

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According to Semple, evidence from vaccine trials showed that a single dose not only prevented people from developing severe disease, but also resulted in a “very good immune response” in vulnerable and elderly people.

In a statement early Wednesday, the UK government said the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) had authorized the University of Oxford / AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine after “rigorous clinical trials and comprehensive data analysis by MHRA experts”.

AstraZeneca said the first doses were launched on Wednesday, so that vaccinations can start in the UK early in the new year.

The University of Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine has the potential to protect millions of other people around the world quickly when regulators in other countries give approval.

AstraZeneca promised to supply hundreds of millions of doses To low and middle income countriesAnd to provide the vaccine on a non-profit basis to those countries forever.

The vaccine is much cheaper than the other vaccine that has been approved, and most importantly, it will be much easier to transport and distribute in developing countries than its competitors because it does not need to be stored in freezing temperatures.

“I think it’s the only vaccine that can be used in those places at the moment,” Azra Ghani, head of infectious disease epidemiology at Imperial College London, told CNN. “Pfizer and Moderna require freezer storage, which is not present in many settings.”

Minister: Wonderful news

The UK’s health services are under increasing pressure with cases of Covid-19 virus rising in many regions.

The United Kingdom recorded 53,135 other cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, breaking the daily record since the epidemic began for the second consecutive day.

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Dr Susan Hopkins, chief medical advisor for public health in England, said in a statement: ‘We continue to see unprecedented levels of COVID-19 infection across the UK, which is a matter of grave concern especially as our hospitals are the most vulnerable.’

Millions of other people in England are expected to be placed under the country’s toughest “Level 4” restrictions on Wednesday amid attempts to curb New variable spread Which health officials say is more transmissible than other strains of the virus.

Speaking via Sky News, Hancock described the approval of the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine as “great news” and said that the country’s National Health Service “stands ready to publish, at the pace required to be able to help us get out of this pandemic by spring.” .

The UK government said the University of Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine met “stringent standards for safety, quality and efficacy” when it announced approval.

“The NHS has a clear delivery plan and decades of experience in providing vaccination programs on a large scale,” the statement said. “Hundreds of thousands of patients have already been vaccinated with the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine and its implementation will continue. Now the NHS will start putting into practice its comprehensive preparations for the introduction of the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine.”

Dosing regimen

Previously, the team developing the vaccine said it had an “average efficacy of 70%” with Single dosing regimen shows 90% effectiveness..

“It is exciting that we found that one of our dosing regimens could be approximately 90% effective, and if this dosing regimen were used, more people could be vaccinated with the planned vaccine supply,” said Andrew Pollard, chief investigator for the Oxford vaccine trial. In November.

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The Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine can be kept at a refrigerator temperature of 2 to 8 degrees Celsius (36 to 46 degrees Fahrenheit) for at least six months.

Moderna vaccine should be stored at a temperature below 20 ° C (minus 4 ° F) – or in refrigerator temperatures for up to 30 days – and the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine should be stored at minus 75 ° C (minus 103 ° F)), They are used within five days, once cooled at higher temperatures.

Cold Chain Cold is the standard storage used worldwide to deliver vaccines from central sites to local health clinics. Ghani added that so far, the AstraZeneca vaccine “is the only one that can definitely be delivered to these systems.”

Vaccines depend on various technologies. AstraZeneca’s offer – like Russia’s Johnson & Johnson and Sputnik V vaccine – uses adenoviruses to transfer genetic parts of the coronavirus into the body.

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