Today’s announcement that the Oxford-AstraZeneca has been approved for use in the UK is a major milestone in our fight against covid, with roll out of this second vaccine beginning from next week. The Government has already ordered 100 million doses which, alongside the Pfizer-Biotech vaccine, means the UK has secured enough vaccine to protect the whole population if required.
Since the approval of the Pfizer-Biotech vaccine earlier this month over 600,000 people have already received their first dose. Today’s approval means this programme can now be rolled out further and faster. One major benefit of the new vaccine is it does not have to be stored at such low temperatures, meaning it is easier to transport and use at sites within the community, including care homes and other priority settings.
Dr Ben Spencer MP said:
With rising covid numbers and increasing pressure on our NHS the approval of the Oxford-Astra Zeneca vaccine is very welcome news which will speed up our vaccination programme and bring the end of the pandemic a significant step closer. This is a testament to all the hard work and investment into British science and research since the start of the pandemic, and I want to thank all those involved who have made vaccination and its delivery possible.
However, full roll out of the vaccination programme will take some time, and with the new strain of coronavirus increasing transmission rates it is more important than ever that everyone follows the rules. I would urge everyone to minimise social contact and maintain public health measures so we can limit the spread of this disease until the benefits of the vaccination programme can be achieved.
Under the vaccination programme appointments are being prioritised for those over 80 and clinically vulnerable front line staff. Due to the number of people to receive the vaccine not everyone can be offered an appointment immediately, but the NHS will contact directly all those who are to be offered the vaccine in this first phase. Residents are urged to be patient and not contact their GPs regarding the vaccine.