A second coronavirus vaccine has been approved for use in the UK, and doses are scheduled to be administered from Monday of next week, prioritising those most at-risk.
According to reports from the BBC, 100 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine have been ordered, which is enough to administer the 2-step vaccine to 50 million people.
A press release from the Department of Health and Social Care explained, "With two vaccines now approved, we will be able to vaccinate a greater number of people who are at highest risk, protecting them from the disease and reducing mortality and hospitalisation."
BREAKING NEWS: The Government has accepted @MHRAgovuk recommendation for authorisation of @OxfordVacGroup/@AstraZeneca's #COVID19 vaccine for use in the UK.
✅ clinical trials
✅ data analysis
✅ MHRA authorisation
Read full statement:https://t.co/Q7axT6mXWN pic.twitter.com/Bw2PARzlBp
— Department of Health and Social Care (@DHSCgovuk) December 30, 2020
More than 600,000 people in the UK have already been given the Pfizer-BioNTech jab, which will still continue to be rolled out across the nation. The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine has the advantage of being able to be refrigerated, while the Pfizer-BioNTech one must be stored at much lower temperatures. Both vaccines are approved for use in the UK and will continue to be used.
Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Secretary of State for Health & Social Care Matt Hancock said, "we've got enough of this vaccine on order to vaccinate the whole population." This does not currently include children, as the vaccine has not been trialled on children, and they are at lower risk for serious symptoms.
Today’s approval of the @UniofOxford / @AstraZeneca #coronavirus vaccine is a great day for British science supported by the UK government & NHS.
THANK YOU to all those involved
— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock) December 30, 2020
Mr. Hancock continued, "2021 can be a year of hope and recovery because we can see our way out of the pandemic."
He then thanked all those involved with the development of the vaccine, saying, "This is a real British success story, a moment of cheer for the whole nation, and indeed the whole world, because this low-cost, easy to store vaccine will save lives everywhere."
The information in this story is accurate as of the publication date. While we are attempting to keep our content as up-to-date as possible, the situation surrounding the coronavirus pandemic continues to develop rapidly, so it's possible that some information and recommendations may have changed since publishing. For any concerns and latest advice, visit the World Health Organisation. If you're in the UK, the National Health Service can also provide useful information and support, while US users can contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
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