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Oxford vaccine set for to be approved on MONDAY as minister hails ‘best of British’ | UK | News


Oxford vaccine: Dr Hilary discusses immunity of jab

The UK has already rolled out the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to the NHS and has administered it to more than 600,000 people in the country already. But now hopes for normality have been increased as regulators are poised to pass the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.

Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “The heroic efforts of the team at the University of Oxford have paid off, with its home-grown vaccine shown to be effective in older people as well as young.

“From day one of the pandemic, people from across the nation have been working day and night to find a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine.

“We have seen the best of British at every stage, from our world-leading scientists working around the clock to carry out vital research, to builders and engineers constructing new facilities.

“Manufacturers are boosting their capabilities and hundreds of thousands of people in every corner of the UK are taking part in clinical trials ­­— developing, finding and preparing for a vaccine has involved us all.

Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to be approved on Monday

Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to be approved on Monday (Image: Getty)

Oxford vaccine to be approved on Monday

Oxford vaccine to be approved on Monday (Image: Getty)

“It has and continues to be a truly UK-wide effort and one which showcases what a fantastic nation we are.”

It is believed the first injections will be rolled out a week after the new drug gets the go-ahead.

Last week, the lead researcher at Oxford University, Professor Sarah Gilbert, said: “The regulators have to be given their time but I really hope that the moment isn’t too far off.”

The Government has already ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine which will be manufactured in Oxford and Newcastle.

READ MORE: Covid panic over new strain ‘unjustified’ scientists say 

Boris Johnson plunged London into Tier 4

Boris Johnson plunged London into Tier 4 (Image: Getty)

One government insider said: “A vaccine is the most valuable commodity we have. 

“It will open up the economy.”

Earlier this month, the United Kingdom became the first country in the world to roll out the vaccine made by Pfizer and BioNTech.

“The government has today published figures which show the number of people who have received the vaccine between 8 December and 20 December in the UK is 616,933,” the Department of Health and Social Care said in a statement.

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UK coronavirus cases mapped

UK coronavirus cases mapped (Image: Express)

Britain has ordered 40 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine, and Health Secretary Matt Hancock has said that he expects to receive millions of doses by the end of the year.

Currently vaccines have ben administered to care home residents, those aged 80 and over and health and social care staff through more than 500 vaccination sites.

This news comes after the public urged the Government to end the current coronavirus restrictions before the whole population is vaccinated, according to recent polling.

The One Poll survey showed that 30 percent believe that restrictions should end when all the over 60s and people in vulnerable groups have had the chance to have the vaccine.

London plunged into Tier 4 restrictions

London plunged into Tier 4 restrictions (Image: Getty)

Chief medical officer Chris Whitty and chief scientific advisor Sir Patrick Vallance have suggested restrictions should remain for most of next year until the whole population has had the chance to have the vaccine.

However, only 32 percent of the 1,013 people surveyed in the week before Christmas support this position which some MPs have already branded extreme.

Former cabinet minister Esther McVey, the founder of the powerful Blue Collar Conservatism movement of more than 120 Tory MPs, said that the poll shows the Prime Minister cannot keep forcing restrictions on an unwilling country.

She said: “As on every issue the public are way ahead of politicians.

Coronavirus restrictions still in place

Coronavirus restrictions still in place (Image: PA)

“We cannot keep these restrictions and lockdowns in perpetuity and the government needs to take heed and ensure a new strategy is developed ASAP which returns our freedoms and allows the economy to reopen.”

Days before Christmas, large areas of England – including London – were plunged into Tier 4 restrictions.

People in Tier 4 regions are banned from mixing with households inside and can only see one person from a different household outside.

From today, Sussex, Oxfordshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, Hampshire, and parts of Essex and Surrey will be placed under Tier 4 restrictions.



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