Well being officers within the U.Ok. licensed the AstraZeneca-Oxford College COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday, giving the nation a second choice for inoculation towards the coronavirus.
The federal government will start rolling out the cheap and easy-to-store vaccine starting Monday. It has ordered 100 million doses — sufficient to vaccinate 50 million residents, or three-quarters of the nation’s inhabitants.
The federal government has already given first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to greater than 600,000 Britons.
U.Ok. Secretary of State for Well being and Social Care Matt Hancock stated Wednesday that between the 2 vaccines, the federal government will be capable to defend all the inhabitants.
Approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine comes because the U.Ok. battles one other lethal wave of the virus. Hundreds of thousands of residents are anticipated to be positioned underneath strict new lockdown measures after a brand new variant of the coronavirus unfold throughout England.
To this point, the brand new variant, which incorporates 17 mutations from the SARS-CoV-2 virus first recognized a 12 months in the past, appears extra transmissible and tougher to manage. England reported a brand new single-day file of recent COVID-19 circumstances, reaching greater than 53,000 on Wednesday, in line with Johns Hopkins University.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated the vaccine’s approval by Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare Merchandise Regulatory Authority, or MHRA, “is really implausible information.”
“We are going to now transfer to vaccinate as many individuals as shortly as attainable,” he stated.
The AstraZeneca vaccine, just like the Pfizer choice, requires two doses to be given to sufferers. The second is required to be given 12 weeks after the primary.
Pascal Soriot, AstraZeneca’s CEO stated in a statement that the vaccine, “has been proven to be efficient, well-tolerated, easy to manage and is equipped by AstraZeneca at no revenue.”
NPR’s London correspondent Frank Langfitt contributed to this story.
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