U.K. Approves Oxford Vaccine For ‘Emergency Use’
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The UK government has accepted the recommendation from the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to authorise Oxford University-AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine, Covishield, for emergency use. The vaccine has shown 70 percent efficacy, which can go up to 90 percent under certain conditions.

The approval by the UK government follows rigorous clinical trials and a thorough analysis of the data by the MHRA, which says the vaccine has met its strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness.

This is a big boost to Serum Institute, which is among the top three vaccine makers in the race to help India inoculate its massive population. It has already applied for regulatory approval with the Drug Controller General of India but is yet to get the mandatory approval for its vaccine.

The approval of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is a major step in the direction of fight against coronavirus as the vaccine is cheap and easy to produce. While temperature that needs to be maintained for transportation and storage of the Pfizer vaccine is -70 degree Celsius, the Oxford vaccine can be stored in a standard fridge. This makes the vaccine easy to store and procure and transport.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation has advised the priority should inoculate at-risk groups first rather than providing the required two doses in as short a time as possible. "Everyone will still receive their second dose and this will be within 12 weeks of their first. The second dose completes the course and is important for longer term protection," the JCVI said.

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