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UK approves emergency use authorization for AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
UK approves emergency use authorization for AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, expected to start next week. According to reports from the Biospace website and other media, the British health authorities authorized the emergency use of the COVID-19 pneumonia vaccine AZD1222 developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University on December 30, local time, becoming the second vaccine used in the UK. The vaccine has been distributed and it is expected to start vaccination next Monday.
AZD1222 is a weakened adenovirus vaccine based on a viral vector, containing the characteristic spike protein genetic material of the new coronavirus. The company stated that the vaccine can effectively prevent new coronavirus pneumonia, and no serious cases occurred within 14 days after the second vaccination. The Human Medicines Committee of the United Kingdom Medicines and Health Products Administration conducted a rolling review of the clinical trial data of vaccines and gave recommendations for emergency use authorization. This is also the first use authorization of AstraZeneca vaccine in the world.
AstraZeneca will provide 100 million doses of vaccine to the United Kingdom. Its vaccination procedure is similar to that of Pfizer’s vaccine, requiring two vaccinations at 4-12 weeks. Unlike previous distribution methods, the British government will use the first dose of vaccine for as many people as possible, which can provide some protection before the second dose is available.
According to current information, there are still some doubts about AstraZeneca’s vaccine data. First, the reported efficacy of Pfizer and Moderna’s mRNA vaccines can reach 95% and 94%, respectively, while the efficacy of AstraZeneca vaccine is 70.4%. Second, during the experiment, a group of clinical trials gave the first half-dose injection instead of two full-dose injections, and its efficacy was as high as 90%. Researchers are further investigating the source of this difference. Nonetheless, Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca, is confident that the vaccine protection level is close to the above two mRNA vaccines.
Compared with Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, AstraZeneca vaccines do not require extremely low temperature storage and can be transported and stored at ordinary refrigeration temperatures for at least six months, so the vaccines are more accessible. AstraZeneca is applying for an emergency use authorization from the World Health Organization to accelerate the supply of vaccines in low- and middle-income countries.
(source:internet, reference only)