London: Pharma major AstraZeneca today said that the COVID-19 vaccine, which has been developed in partnership with Oxford University, has been approved for emergency use in the UK.
The first doses are being released today so that vaccinations may begin early in the New Year, the company said. The UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has provided authorisation for emergency supply of Oxford COVID vaccine for the active immunisation of individuals 18 years or older, it said.
The vaccine can be stored, transported and handled at normal refrigerated conditions (two-eight degrees Celsius/ 36-46 degrees Fahrenheit) for at least six months and administered within existing healthcare settings, AstraZeneca said.
Commenting on the UK approval, AstraZeneca’s chief executive , said: “Today is an important day for millions of people in the UK who will get access to this new vaccine. It has been shown to be effective, well-tolerated, simple to administer and is supplied by AstraZeneca at no profit. We would like to thank our many colleagues at AstraZeneca, Oxford University, the UK government and the tens of thousands of clinical trial participants,” as quoted by Hindustan Times.