British Prime Minister Boris Johnson with Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine. | Reuters


The British Government has approved the coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University and pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

The decision comes after rigorous clinical trials and an exhaustive analysis of the data by MHRA experts, who have concluded that the vaccine meets their strict safety and quality standards and effectiveness,” said a Health Service Spokesperson.

The Joint Committee on Vaccinations & Immunisation, or JCVI will publish its advice on priority groups for vaccination and stressed that the NHS has a clear vaccination plan.

"The NHS has already vaccinated hundreds of thousands of patients with the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine and that campaign will continue,” they said. "Now it will put its extensive preparations into action for the inoculation of the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca.”

The NHS has always been guided by the latest scientific advice and the JCVI has recommended that priority be given to people in risk groups for the first doses, instead of giving two in the shortest period of time possible,” said the NHS. “Everyone will get their second dose twelve weeks after the first one which completes the cycle and is important for longer term protection.”

"With two approved vaccines it will be possible to immunise a greater number of people who are at high risk, protect them from the disease and reduce mortality and hospitalisations," said the Health Service Spokesperson. “For the vaccination program to succeed it’s vital that everyone continues to play their role, respects the restrictions in their area and washes their hands so that we can suppress this virus and allow the NHS to do its job."

The AstraZeneca approval comes 24 hours after the British authorities confirmed an unprecedented 53,153 cases of coronavirus in a single day.

More 2,382,865 have contracted Covid-19 in the UK since the pandemic began and over 71,500 patients have died, 3,260 of the fatalities were in the last seven days.