Following the approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine last year, at the end of December, the UK regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), approved the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine for use in the UK. Health Secretary Matt Hancock described the vaccine’s approval as a “massive step forward” for the UK’s fight against coronavirus, and said vaccines were the “exit route from the pandemic”.
In clinical trials, the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine showed a strong immune response in adults of all ages.
The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has a good safety record and has shown 70.4 percent efficacy in tests.
The vaccine was developed by scientists at AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, and the UK was the first in the world to sign an agreement for the vaccine.
The Oxford vaccine’s approval has been significant for the UK vaccine rollout effort, as the UK Government has ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine – enough to vaccinate 50 million people with two doses.
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Specialist sites in Wales and Germany then divide the vaccine into vials ready for distribution.
When the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was approved by the UK regulator last year, the Government noted its investment in a £100million vaccine manufacturing facility.
The Government said: “The UK Government invested £100 million to fund a state-of-the-art manufacturing innovation centre in Braintree, Essex, in collaboration with the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, to accelerate the mass production of a successful Covid-19 vaccine in the UK.
“Due to open in December 2021, the Centre will have the capacity to produce millions of doses of vaccines each month, ensuring the UK has the capabilities to manufacture both vaccines and advanced medicines, including for emerging diseases, far into the future.”