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UK Approves Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine

The UK has just approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, according to This is expected to significantly increase the pace of the vaccination effort in the UK. To date, over 600,000 Britons have gotten the Pfizer vaccine. That should be about 0.9% of the population (my calculation).

The UK will now shift strategies and begin giving just the initial vaccination to at-risk people, in order to give as many as possible some degree of immunity. They will all ultimately receive the second dose, but that may happen after 12 weeks rather than after 3 or 4.

Posted by
6113 posts

My mum is 88 and she, along with all her friends are still to receive any vaccine 3 + weeks into the programme. Her local press report yesterday said that under 25% of the over 80s have been vaccinated to date, so at this rate, it’s going to take a long time for all to be vaccinated. The AZ vaccine is easier to store, so should make it easier for more places to offer it, subject to staff availability and logistics.

Posted by
372 posts

As we don't have definitive long term data on efficacy of any of the vaccines , it is difficult to make a judgement. One of the major factors for the UK is going to be cost - there are a lot of figures being circulated but all show the AZ vaccine is significantly cheaper than both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

From a Scientific point of view - it is going to be interesting to see comparisons of the different vaccines - including Sputnik and Sinotec versions, once we have sufficient data. The advantages of the m-RNA versions (Moderna and Pfizer) appear to be the speed with which they can be modified.

Posted by
6518 posts

Reports also say that this latest vaccine doesn’t need the super-freezer treatment of some others, which could make its distribution easier in places without such storage capabilities. TimW, it definitely will be interesting if there’s an effectiveness comparison (contest ?) that develops, but on any level, some vaccine is better than none. For everyone’s sake, though, more success is far better than less success. Being able to travel to places where vaccinations are happening will be very encouraging. Any promising vaccine will help reduce the destination “haves” and “have-nots,” both for visitors and for residents.

Posted by
5039 posts

The vaccine at present is delivered through a collections hospitals and Primary Care Networks. Only a few of the latter in any one area have set something up already but it is for their own patients (check local Clinical Commissioning Group). Hospitals can do anyone qualifying, but have concentrated on people they already have a relationship with (in/out patients) at least initially.