UK authorizes new COVID-19 vaccine. Here’s what it means

The United Kingdom became the first country to approve the COVID-19 vaccine from the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca.

  • The vaccine is considered “a cheap and easy-to-store shot that much of the world will rely on to help end the pandemic,” according to The New York Times.

The UK will also give out as many first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as possible rather than holding back some doses for people’s second shots, according to The New York Times.

  • It’s unclear what this might mean for Britain since the country is the only one to do so.

What they’re saying:

  • AstraZeneca Pascal Soriot: “Today is an important day for millions of people in the UK who will get access to this new vaccine. It has been shown to be effective, well-tolerated, simple to administer and is supplied by AstraZeneca at no profit. We would like to thank our many colleagues at AstraZeneca, Oxford University, the UK government and the tens of thousands of clinical trial participants.”
  • UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock: “This is a moment to celebrate British innovation — not only are we responsible for discovering the first treatment to reduce mortality for COVID-19, this vaccine will be made available to some of the poorest regions of the world at a low cost, helping protect countless people from this awful disease. It is a tribute to the incredible UK scientists at Oxford University and AstraZeneca whose breakthrough will help to save lives around the world. I want to thank every single person who has been part of this British success story. While it is a time to be hopeful, it is so vital everyone continues to play their part to drive down infections.”

The history of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine

Some participants in the trial received the two doses several months apart from each other. Regulators said the first dose had 70% efficacy to protect against the COVID-19 before the first shot and the second dose.

As I wrote for the Deseret News, the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID vaccine showed signs of promoting immune response within older adults, according to a study.