The UK on Wednesday became the first country in the world to approve a coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca to fight a major winter flood caused by a new, highly contagious variant of the virus.
“The government today accepted the recommendation from the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) to approve Oxford University / AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for use,” the Department of Health said.
The pandemic has already killed 1.7 million people around the world, sowing chaos in the global economy, and changing normal lives for billions since it began a year ago in Wuhan, China.
The UK and South Africa in particular are grappling with new variants of the coronavirus that the government and scientists believe are more contagious. Many countries have responded by banning passenger flights and blocking trade.
AstraZeneca and other developers have announced they are investigating the effects of the new variant, but expect their recordings to be effective against it.
The regulatory endorsement is a welcome boost for AstraZeneca and the Oxford team, who have been accused of lacking clarity about the results of late-stage studies.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and posted from a syndicated feed.)