UK to roll out Oxford covid-19 vaccine from Jan. 4- Sunday Telegraph
London, Dec. 27, 2020 (AltAfrica)-The United Kingdom will roll out Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine from Jan. 4, according to plans being drawn up by ministers, The Sunday Telegraph reported.
The government hopes to give the first dose of either the Oxford vaccine, which has been licensed to pharmaceuticals company AstraZeneca, or the Pfizer vaccine to 2 million people over the next two weeks, the newspaper said.
The Oxford vaccine is expected to be approved by medical regulators in days, the newspaper said.
Unlike the Pfizer vaccine, which is already being deployed, it can be stored in a standard fridge rather than at -70C.
Several million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been manufactured and are ready to be deployed, reports The Sunday Telegrpah. The government has ordered 100 million jabs, with most expected to be rolled out by March.
The Oxford vaccine is much simpler to distribute in large quantities because it’s easier to store and handle.
“We are deploying as fast as we get the stuff in,” a Whitehall insider reportedly told the paper.
“The constraint is supply, not deployment. The protocol around Pfizer is really difficult, but with AstraZeneca/Oxford covid-19 vaccine, it’s much easier, it’s like the flu vaccine.”
Speaking last week, the lead researcher at Oxford University, Professor Sarah Gilbert, said: “The regulators have to be given their time but I really hope that the moment isn’t too far off.”
The United Kingdom recorded 210 COVID-19 deaths on Saturday, down from 570 the day before, while cases rose 1,968 to 34,693, the government said, citing partial data.
The latest R number is estimated at 1.1 to 1.3, the government said.
The United Kingdom has recorded a death toll of 70,405, defined as those dying within 28 days of a positive test. Under that measure, it has the world’s sixth largest toll, after the United States, Brazil, India, Mexico and Italy.
A broader measure of those dying with COVID-19 on their death certificates puts the United Kingdom’s death toll at 79,349.