World News – AU – AstraZeneca / Oxford COVID-19 vaccine approved in UK

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London: Great Britain on Wednesday became the first country in the world to approve a coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca to combat a great winter flood caused by a new, highly contagious variant of the virus.

« The government today accepted the recommendation from the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency to approve Oxford University / AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for use, » the Department of Health said.

The pandemic has already killed 1. 7 million people around the world have sowed havoc in the global economy and changed normal life for billions since it began a year ago in Wuhan, China.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine is seen as the best chance for developing countries because it does not need to be stored at extreme temperatures. Photo credit: University of Oxford

The UK and South Africa in particular are struggling with new variants of the coronavirus that the government and scientists believe are more contagious. Many countries have responded by banning passenger flights and blocking trade.

AstraZeneca and other developers have announced that they are studying the effects of the new variant, but expect their recordings to be effective against it.

The regulatory endorsement is a welcome boost for AstraZeneca and the Oxford team, which have been accused of lacking clarity on the results of late-stage studies.

The pooled results of these studies show that the overall effectiveness was 70. 4 percent. The effectiveness was 62 percent for subjects who were given two full doses, but 90 percent for a smaller subgroup who received half a dose and then a full dose.

Researchers said the finding of 90 percent effectiveness for the low-dose / high-dose regimen needs further investigation. AstraZeneca did not disclose which dose regimen was approved.

Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca, said: “Today is an important day for millions of people in the UK who will gain access to this new vaccine. It has been shown to be effective, well tolerated, easy to manage and is supplied by AstraZeneca at no profit. « 

He added, « We would like to thank our many colleagues at AstraZeneca, Oxford University, the UK Government and the tens of thousands of clinical trial participants. ”

Australia secured 53. 8 million doses of the Oxford vaccine, most of which could be made locally by CSL. The federal government has also ordered 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, all of which must be imported.

Federal Health Secretary Greg Hunt said Monday he expected Australia to be « fully vaccinated » against coronavirus by October next year.

The vaccine is expected to be used in many countries because of its low cost, availability and ease of use. It can be kept in refrigerators rather than the ultra-cold storage that other vaccines require. The company has announced it will sell it for $ 2. 50 per dose and plans to deliver up to 3 billion doses by the end of 2021.

Questions remain as to how well the vaccine protects the elderly. Only 12 percent of the study participants were over 55 years old and were later enrolled. As a result, there was not enough time to determine if they developed infections at a slower rate than those who were not given the vaccine.

Researchers were also criticized for lack of information in September when studies were suspended because a participant was suffering from a serious illness. AstraZeneca initially declined to provide further details due to patient confidentiality.

Ultimately, the trials resumed after regulators reviewed the safety data and decided it was safe to continue. Published results show no hospitalization or serious illness in those who received the vaccine.

The results published so far are only partial as studies continue. A separate study testing the AstraZeneca vaccine in the US is also ongoing.

The number of ambulances has increased as a record number of coronavirus patients were hospitalized in England. Photo credit: Getty Images

The UK was the first country to approve the Pfizer vaccine, with more than 600 approved. 000 people were given the first of two doses. On Wednesday, AEDT, the first woman to receive the sting, 91-year-old Margaret Keenan received her second stab. This made her the first person in the UK to be fully vaccinated against coronavirus.

An army of more than 10. 000 UK medical professionals and volunteers have already been recruited by the National Health Service to help deliver the AstraZeneca vaccine.

The London Telegraph reported that the teams are trained and ready to administer the dose in sports stadiums and on racetracks across the country with the aim of vaccinating 1 million people each week.

The UK has ordered 100 million cans from AstraZeneca, with 40 million expected to be available by the end of March.

The news of its approval was a moment of hope for Britain as the country turned 53. Reported 135 cases per day, another record high.

The number of patients in the hospital in England now exceeds the number at the height of the UK’s first peak in April.

« We continue to see unprecedented levels of COVID-19 infection across the UK, which is extremely worrying, especially as our hospitals are the most vulnerable, » said Dr. Hopkins.

NHS ICU and medical association president Samantha Batt-Rawden said things were « really bad on the front lines ». .

As Boris Johnson’s cabinet meets to consider further restrictions – including school closings – UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock called for stricter measures.

« We have to quell this virus to protect our NHS and save lives until the vaccine can protect us, » he said.

Vaccine, AstraZeneca, Coronavirus, Oxford University

World News – AU – AstraZeneca / Oxford COVID-19 vaccine approved in UK

Ref: https://www.smh.com.au

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