The Covid-19 vaccine from Oxford University and AstraZeneca has been licensed for use in the UK, paving the way for a mass launch.
The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency [MHRA] received the green light for the vaccine, which has been described as a ‘game changer.’
The approval of the Oxford vaccine was called “fantastic news” by Matt Hancock, England’s health minister, and reported that the launch would begin on Jan. 4.
He said every human, except those who cannot obtain the vaccine for medical reasons, should be vaccinated.
We have enough of this vaccine to encourage all adults to get this vaccine, he told Times Radio, “and of course we will go first to those who are most at risk clinically and to health professionals and colleagues who work in social care.”
“We will go to them first, according to that clinical prioritization, but yes, after that, this vaccine will be available to those under 50.”
The vaccine is not licensed for use in infants, Hancock added.
“Asked if he could give a timetable for when the under-50s could be vaccinated without pre-existing conditions, Hancock told Times Radio, “It depends on the production pace, I wish I could give you a date, your invitation now, but we can’t because it depends on the production speed.
This substance is not a chemical compound, but a biological product, so it’s hard to make.
We will speed up the implementation of two vaccines now that they are delivered. How easily we can do that depends on how easy it is possible for farmers to produce.
But I can tell you that I now have a very high degree of trust that enough people at risk will be safe by spring so that we can get out of this pandemic situation,”But I can tell you that I have a very high level of confidence now that by spring enough people at risk will be protected so that we can get out of this pandemic situation,”
“We can see the way out, and the way out is led by this vaccine, and that’s why this is such good news for everyone.”
Coronavirus: Covid vaccine approved for the U.K. Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine
The Scottish Minister, Alister Jack, echoed this, adding, “The regulatory approval for the UK of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine is absolutely fantastic news. Each additional vaccine available brings us one step closer to being able to return as soon as possible to a normal life.”
“As with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the UK government has sourced and paid for millions of doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine for people in all parts of the UK.”
The Westminster President of the SNP, Ian Blackford, welcomed the acceptance of the vaccine as a “good day.” on Wednesday.
“On the BBC’s “Good Morning Scotland” program, he said, “We are all so happy to know that the vaccine has been accepted and that we can look forward to providing this vaccine to the whole population and moving into a position where we can begin to remove some of the limitations that are in place.
“There is hope – it will obviously take some time before the vaccine is distributed. But by God, it’s a good day when we look at this news.”
Later, as more parts of England are predicted to be put at the highest level 4, Mr. Hancock will update MPs on the coronavirus.
The news that the Oxford vaccine has been officially approved comes just hours after 53,135 new cases of Covid were registered in the United Kingdom, the largest rise in a single day since mass testing started, and 414 more deaths after a positive test within 28 days.
Oxford Covid 19 vaccine: What you need to know after it is authorised by the UK
Today’s approval of the @UniofOxford / @AstraZeneca #coronavirus vaccine, sponsored by the UK government & NHS, is a fantastic day for UK research.
THANK YOU to everyone involved,
-December 30, 2020 Matt Hancock (@MattHancock)
In order to cope with new strains of the virus, Oxford professor Andrew Pollard said that it should be “entirely possible” to tweak vaccines, if appropriate.
“He told the Today program, “There is no proof at the moment that vaccines are not going to operate against a new variant, so we need to look at it. We can’t be complacent about this variant, or even future variants.
And so one of the really important things science needs to do now, though it’s one of the most important things science needs to do now.