New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The United Kingdom on Wednesday approved the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford-AstraZeneca for human use in the country. "Govt has today accepted the recommendation from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to authorise Oxford University/AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine for use," the UK government said today. 

The vaccine developed by Oxford University in association with pharma major AstraZeneca is manufactured by Indian vaccine maker Serum Institute of India (SII). The approval came amid as the UK battles a major winter surge driven by a new, highly contagious variant of the coronavirus. 

The approval by Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) means the vaccine is both safe and effective.
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) was already lining up thousands of medics and volunteers to be ready to deliver jabs up and down the country.

According to AstraZeneca, the authorisation by the UK regulator recommends 2 doses of the vaccine to be administered with an interval of between 4 to 12 weeks. The similar regimen was shown as safe and effective in clinical trials and is also effective at preventing symptomatic COVID-19 patients, with no severe cases and without any hospitalisation needed more than 14 days after the second dose was administered. 

AstraZeneca said that the first doses are being released today so that vaccinations may begin early in the new year. "The UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has provided authorisation for an emergency supply of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca, formerly AZD1222, for the active immunisation of individuals 18 years or older," the company said in a statement.

The company said it aims to supply millions of doses in the first quarter as part of an agreement with the government to supply up to 100 million doses in total. AstraZeneca said that it is studying the impact of the new variant but expect that their shots will be effective against it.

Matt Hancock, UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said that the vaccine would be will be made available to some of the poorest regions of the world at a low cost, helping protect countless people from this "awful" disease.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan