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UK starts rollout of AstraZeneca vaccine

Credit: Belga

The United Kingdom has started its rollout of the coronavirus vaccine by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford on Monday.

The vaccine’s rollout is “a vital step in our fight against this pandemic,” British Health Secretary Matt Hancock tweeted on Monday.

The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) recommended the AstraZeneca vaccine for authorisation, and the government accepted the MHRA’s recommendation on 30 December.

This is the second coronavirus vaccine to be authorised for use in the UK, after the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, the rollout of which started on 8 December.

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Meanwhile, the AstraZeneca vaccine has yet to be authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and it is unlikely that this will happen in January, as more data is needed and, as of 29 December, AstraZeneca had yet to submit a formal application to EMA, according to a top EMA official.

A total of 2,654,779 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK since the start of the pandemic, according to official data.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times