Perhaps the best possible end to 2020 was the announcement this week that the coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca has been given the green light.
The jab has been in the spotlight since it started screening for trial volunteers in March.
Nine months later, it has been approved by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Over the next few months, the vaccine will start being administered to UK citizens alongside the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine that is already being circulated.
Health secretary Matt Hancock has said all adults will be eligible for the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine – with the exception of those who cannot have the jab for medical reasons.
So, what do we know about this home-grown antidote to the coronavirus?
Where is the Oxford Covid vaccine manufactured?
Although the Oxford vaccine was developed in the UK, initial doses are being manufactured further afield.
Ian McCubbin, manufacturing lead for the UK’s Vaccine Taskforce said that while the ‘vast majority’ of the UK’s 100 million doses will come from inside the UK, the first batches will not.
‘The initial supply – and it’s a little bit of a quirk of the programme – actually comes from the Netherlands and Germany,’ he said.
‘But once that’s supplied, which we expect will be all by the end of this year, then the remainder of the supply will be a UK supply chain.’
Moving the supply chain to within the country is important to avoid any regulatory holdups once the UK passes out of the Brexit transition period on December 31.
What is the effectiveness of the Oxford Covid vaccine?
For people given two full doses of the jab in one study, the vaccine was 62.1% effective.
In a study where people received a half dose followed by a full dose, the vaccine was 90% effective.
Researchers said there were no admissions to hospital or severe disease in people receiving the vaccine.
AstraZeneca confirmed that the dosage approved for use is the full dose/full dose regimen.
Phase three trials also suggested there were some promising signs about the vaccine potentially stopping transmission of Covid-19.
The study suggested vaccine efficacy against asymptomatic transmission is around 27%.
What does dosing the Oxford Covid vaccine involve? Read from source….