Drug approved

Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine ‘is step towards normality’

AstraZeneca scientist

Business leaders said today’s approval for the Covid-19 vaccine being produced by Oxford University and AstraZeneca is another step closer to returning to a normal way of life.

The vaccine has been approved for use as the UK recorded more than 50,000 cases for the first time yesterday.

The UK has ordered 100 million doses – enough to vaccinate 50 million people – with the first jabs starting on Monday. 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that the gap between the first jab and the second jab will be extended from four weeks to 12 weeks to ensure as many people as possible can be vaccinated before Easter.

The Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, which has been described as a ‘game changer’, was given the go-ahead by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

Pascal Soriot, CEO, said: “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. We would like to thank our many colleagues at AstraZeneca, Oxford University, the UK government and the tens of thousands of clinical trial participants.”

Professor Andrew Pollard, director of the Oxford Vaccine Group and chief investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial, said: “The regulator’s assessment that this is a safe and effective vaccine is a landmark moment, and an endorsement of the huge effort from a devoted international team of researchers and our dedicated trial participants.

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