For use in the United Kingdom, the Covid-19 vaccine produced by Oxford University and AstraZeneca has been authorised.
What does this recent growth mean now that the vaccine from Pfizer/BioNTech is already being provided to the most vulnerable?
– How does it work with the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine?
The vaccine, called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, uses a harmless, attenuated strain of a common virus that causes chimpanzees to get a common cold.
In order to develop vaccines against a variety of viruses, including influenza, Zika and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, researchers have already used this technology (Mers).
To make it difficult for it to evolve in humans, the virus is genetically modified.
The genetic instructions for the unique ‘spike protein’ of the coronavirus – which it requires to enter cells – have been converted by scientists into the vaccine.
When the vaccine reaches the cells of the body, it utilizes this genetic code to generate the surface spike protein of the coronavirus.
This induces an immune response that, when it infects the body, trains the immune system to attack the coronavirus.
Data from the Phase 3 analysis showed that, with two separate dosing regimens, vaccination was 70.4 percent effective on average and theoretically up to 90 percent effective with half a dose followed by another full dose.
– What dosing regimen was recommended by the agency?
The MHRA has suggested that people over the age of 18 be given two doses, four to 12 weeks apart.
– What is in the U.K. pipeline?
100 million doses of the Oxford vaccine have been secured by the government.
The first doses of the Oxford vaccine will be imported from Germany, with a significant proportion produced in the United Kingdom afterwards.
Coronavirus: A U.K. approved Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid vaccine
People would require two doses, as with Pfizer/vaccine. BioNTech’s
Four million doses, with tens of millions of doses available in the first quarter of next year, will be available once accepted.
It is difficult to pin down a specific timetable since the batches must be quality-tested by the Regulatory Agency for Medicines and Healthcare products (MHRA).
– How is the vaccine going to be introduced?
There is far less confusion about the Oxford vaccine being introduced, as the stage for the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine was already set in December.
The Oxford vaccine can be kept for at least six months at the temperature of the refrigerator, so it is hoped that administration logistics would be simpler.
The approval was called “fantastic news” by Minister of Health Matt Hancock and reported that the launch would begin on Jan. 4.
AstraZeneca said it is developing up to 3 billion doses of production capacity globally next year and is planning to deliver millions of doses to the UK in the first quarter of 2021.
It took years, sometimes decades, to develop a vaccine in the past.
The production of a vaccine typically requires many steps, including design and development stages, followed by clinical trials, which require approval in their own right before they even begin.
Yet things look a bit different in the trials for the Covid 19 vaccine. A process has been shortened to months that usually takes years.
Although the early design and development phases appear identical, instead of occurring sequentially, the clinical trial phases differ.
And before final approval is given, pharmaceutical firms have started development – taking the risk of having to discard their work.
The modern way of working ensures that regulators around the world will begin to review scientific evidence faster than they would have done historically.
Is it made in the UK for the Oxford vaccine?
Initially, there are several doses that come from Europe, but the UK supply chain provides the majority.
– Are other vaccines not available?
Yeah. Yes. There are a variety of other vaccines from which the UK has secured doses, in addition to Pfizer’s vaccine, which has a 95 percent efficacy score.
Oxford results suggest that when a full dose is given, the vaccine has a 62.1 percent effectiveness, followed by another full dose. However, efficacy improved to 90 percent when individuals received half a dose followed by a full dose at least one month later.
The combined study of both dosing regimens found that there was an overall efficacy of