Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine approved for public use in UK



  • New Delhi: The vaccine candidate from Oxford-AstraZeneca has been approved for emergency use in the UK, news reports have confirmed. The vaccine had been awaiting approvals in Britain. Britain had already granted emergency use approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, earlier in December.

Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine approved for public use in UK

  • Speaking on Sky News on Wednesday morning, health secretary Matt Hancock said the rollout of the vaccine would begin on January 4.
  • The Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID vaccine, however, can be stored at refrigerator temperatures, unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, where storage conditions need to be at at least -70 degrees. This also poses a great hurdle for low and middle-income countries in the distribution of the vaccine.
  • The University of Oxford and drug manufacturer AstraZeneca had applied to the UK health regulator for permission to roll out their Covid-19 vaccine, Health Minister Matt Hancock had said on Wednesday.
    “I’m delighted to be able to tell you that the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine developed here in the UK has submitted its full data package to the MHRA for approval,” he had said, news agency ANI reported.
    “This is the next step towards a decision on the deployment of the vaccine,” the health minister added at a press conference.
  • Britain is one of the worst affected countries due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, as the second wave of the pandemic is already going on in the country.


  • Travel restrictions to and fro from Britain are in place, especially with the developments in the new, mutated strain of the novel coronavirus, discovered in Britain earlier this month.
  • The bulk of Britain’s vaccine requirements are expected to be met by the jab developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, as the government has ordered 100 million doses.
  • The Serum Institute of India is also testing and producing the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in India, under the name Covishield.
  • Emergency use approval for the vaccine are also pending with DCGI, India. Previously, reports had suggested that India was awaiting UK’s approval of the vaccine, and is likely to follow suit.
  • If approved soon, the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID vaccine will be the first vaccine approved for public use in India.


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