U.S. expects to approve UK-backed AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine in April

U.S. expects to approve UK-backed AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine in April

The first doses are being released Wednesday, and the vaccination campaign will start Monday.

The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine is now undergoing a "rolling review" which allows the EMA to examine safety and efficacy data as they are released, even before a formal application for authorisation is filed by the manufacturer.

The JCVI "has advised the priority should be to give as many people in at-risk groups their first dose, rather than providing the required two doses in as short a time as possible", the announcement said. "We can say now with confidence that we can get out of this by spring".

The government has already given first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to more than 600,000 Britons. The head of Operation Warp Speed delivered the optimistic view, while also stating that the AstraZeneca vaccine could receive FDA approval by April.

The vaccine is a genetically modified common cold virus that used to infect chimpanzees.

At the time of writing, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases stood at 83,060,556.

Which dosage will be used?

The mRNA vaccine candidate, administered in two doses, has been found to be 95 percent effective in preventing the disease. That group, by error initially, received a half dose followed by a full dose. But the efficacy was 62% if the full dose was given twice, as it was for most participants.

But this second vaccine is expected to leald to a significant increase in vaccination as it is cheaper and easier to produce than the Pfizer-BioNTech jab.

Novavax late this month kicked off a phase 3 study of its recombinant nanoparticle, adjuvanted vaccine in Mexico and the U.S. The study joins a slate of ongoing trials, including a phase 2b assessing safety and efficacy in South Africa, a pivotal phase 3 in the United Kingdom and an ongoing phase 1/2 in the U.S. and Australia.

The Prime Minister said the option of a third national lockdown had been "considered intensely" but rejected for now, urging people: "At this critical moment, with the prospect of freedom within reach, we've got to redouble our efforts to contain the virus". The first greenlight for the shot dubbed the "vaccine for the world" brought a measure of hope that the pandemic could be brought under control.

A combination should work for vaccines that target the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, according to Andrew Pollard, who led the University of Oxford's vaccine trial with Astra. This is significantly lower than Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc.'s vaccines.

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