Oxford university vaccine 'safe and effective' according to peer-reviewed study 1 year ago

Oxford university vaccine 'safe and effective' according to peer-reviewed study

A new study has shown that the British developed AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine is safe and offers protection from Covid-19.

The vaccine, produced by a team of scientists from the Swedish Pharmaceutical company and the University of Oxford, is currently waiting government approval to begin being dispensed.

Advertisement

It's believed to be as effective as the approved Pfizer jab, but costs a fraction of the cost to produce as well as being much easier to store. The Pfizer vaccine, which has already got emergency NHS approval has to be stored at -70c and costs around £15 per dose. By contrast, the Astrazeneca vaccine can be safely stored at regular fridge for as long as needed.

The UK government has pre-emptively ordered 100 million doses of the British designed vaccine, making up nearly a third of the 310m doses they've purchased. If given approval, the Oxford vaccine could be rolled out before Christmas, in a similar manner to the Pfizer drug.

Questions have been raised about the vaccine's effectiveness, after a group of test subjects in Brazil was given incorrect doses, but the peer review in medical journal, The Lancet found that the results of the trial were still valid.

Advertisement

Pascal Soriot, chief executive officer for AstraZeneca said: "The results show that the vaccine is effective against Covid-19, with in particular no severe infections and no hospitalisations in the vaccine group, as well as safe and well tolerated.

"We have begun submitting data to regulatory authorities around the world for early approval and our global supply chains are up and running, ready to quickly begin delivering hundreds of millions of doses on a global scale at no profit."

Earlier today, a 90-year-old woman from Northern Ireland was the first woman in the Western world to receive a dose of the vaccine. Margaret Keenan, a former jeweller who turns 91 next week and only retired four years ago, will receive a second jab of the vaccine in 21 days to ensure protection from the virus.

She said: “I feel so privileged to be the first person vaccinated against COVID-19, it’s the best early birthday present I could wish for because it means I can finally look forward to spending time with my family and friends in the New Year after being on my own for most of the year.

Advertisement

“I can’t thank May and the NHS staff enough who have looked after me tremendously, and my advice to anyone offered the vaccine is to take it – if I can have it at 90, then you can have it too!”

The second person to receive it, was named William Shakespeare, who also received the immunisation at the University Hospital in Coventry.

Speaking on TalkRadio today, health secretary Matt Hancock confirmed that we wouldn't have to wait for everyone to get the vaccine before releasing the country from Covid restrictions.

Hancock said "The reason we're prioritising those who are clinically vulnerable is not just to make sure they're protected as soon as possible, but that is also the fastest way to get all the restrictions lifted because once we've protected those who are likely to end up in hospital and those who are likely to die from coronavirus then we can rely on people's personal responsibility to protect themselves rather than the current rules that we have in place."

Advertisement