Oxford vaccine submitted for approval by Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency

The government has formally asked the UK’s official regulator to assess the Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, bringing the country a step closer to a possible roll-out.

Friday, 27th November 2020, 9:18 am

The findings of the trials of the vaccine will now go before the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) which the government has described as a ‘significant first step in getting the vaccine approved for deployment’.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said: ‘We have formally asked the regulator to assess the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, to understand the data and determine whether it meets rigorous safety standards.’

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The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine trial findings have been submitted for formal approval. Photograph: PA

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said the UK would be one of the first countries in the world to receive the vaccine, if authorised, with AstraZeneca set to have up to 4m doses ready for the UK by the end of the year and 40m by the end of March 2021.

The request to the MHRA follows on from the regulator being asked to assess the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

The UK government has pre-ordered 100m doses of the Oxford vaccine along with 40m doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and 5m doses of the US produced Moderna jab.

If approved, the vaccines could start to be used on high priority groups at the start of December.

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