"We felt the results were not borne out by the full analysis", Munir Pirmohamed, a pharmacologist who chairs the U.K.'s Commission on Human Medicines (CHM) Expert Working Group-tasked with advising the CHM on potential COVID-19 vaccines-said in a media briefing Wednesday. "More than 600,000 people in the United Kingdom have been vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech jab since Margaret Keenan became the first in the world to be given a Covid vaccine outside of a clinical trials".
Johnson said the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and another already in use developed by USA drugmaker Pfizer and Germany company BioNTech meant "there are plenty of reasons for people to be optimistic about the spring". "The MHRA have determined that we have a safe vaccine, a highly effective vaccine, and the one that we need to start using now to control this pandemic". Next week we aim to open up bookings for the 80s and over and begin vaccinating them with the Pfizer vaccine.
The U.K. also reported Wednesday that another 981 people with the coronavirus had died. "This vaccine will be made available to some of the poorest regions of the world at a low cost, helping protect countless people from this bad disease", Matt Hancock, U.K. Secretary of State for health and social care, said in a release.
The AstraZeneca vaccine has been praised for its low cost and ease of use.More news: HYPOCRITE AIR: Amid COVID lockdown, Ontario finance minister enjoys sunny break
And instead of advising against its use in people with severe allergic reactions to food, other medicines or vaccines, the regulator now says only people with an allergy to ingredients of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine should not get the shot.
Both the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines were tested with two doses, given a few weeks apart.
Over a dozen countries have already approved the vaccine for use, including Britain, Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
The Oxford vaccine, being made in Oxfordshire and Staffordshire, can be stored in a standard fridge, unlike the Pfizer/BioNTech jab, which needs cold storage of around -70C. Meanwhile, the company is continuing to work with global partners to build out manufacturing capacity for up to 3 billion doses globally in 2021 on a rolling basis, it says.More news: No, Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt are not getting engaged in Ranthambore
As part of that effort, medical workers are to provide either of two approved vaccines: one from Oxford-AstraZeneca or one from Pfizer and BioNTech.
'Got my Covid vaccine!
"Employers in the care sector must ensure there's paid time for staff getting the jab so they're not left out of pocket for doing the right thing to protect vulnerable people".More news: United Kingdom widens English lockdowns as COVID variant surges - global