The United Kingdom is set to approve a COVID-19 vaccine, which DrugMakers says is effective in fighting a new form of coronavirus spread around the world.
AstraZeneca chief executive Pascal Soriott told the Sunday Times that researchers say its vaccine is as effective as the 95 percent success rate postponed by rival drug developers. However, there have been concerns over preliminary partial test results suggesting that the AstraAnica shot is only 70 percent effective at inhibiting COVID-19.
The new shot from AstraZeneca and Oxford University is easy to transport and store, possibly giving the country another powerful tool to fight rising infection rates, three weeks after becoming the first Western country to introduce vaccination in the UK.
The vaccine may be approved by the British Drug Regulators this week and may be available to the public in the first week of January.
“We feel we have figured out the winning formula and how to achieve the efficacy after two,” Soriot told the newspaper. “We can’t tell you more because we’ll publish at some point.”
Regarding the vaccine’s efficacy against new UK mutations, Soriot told the Times: “So far, we think the vaccine should remain effective. But we’re not sure, so we’re going to test it.”
Hospitals in Britain are increasingly under stress as more than 30,000 positive COVID-19 tests and 316 deaths from the virus were reported in the country on Sunday, leading to 70,752 deaths.
By Christmas Eve, British health officials said that more than 600,000 had received the first of two doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
Extensive travel restrictions and public lockdowns on quickly approving and distributing the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine to the extent of 15 million of Britain’s most vulnerable citizens could be reduced by the end of February, according to a Mirror report.
The UK has taken 100 million doses of this drug.
With ap wires