27 January 2022,   16:26
UK drugs watchdog approves Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine

The UK drugs watchdog has approved the coronavirus vaccine made by Oxford university and AstraZeneca, boosting hopes that millions more Britons can be inoculated against the disease in the coming months as a new viral variant takes hold.

AstraZeneca said on Wednesday the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency had given the jab an emergency authorisation, allowing it to be rushed to patients and offering renewed hope of taming the pandemic as the number of patients with Covid-19 in English hospitals reached an all-time high.

The UK, EU and US have respectively placed orders for 100m, 400m and 300m doses of the vaccine developed by Oxford and licensed to the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker.

The company could supply up to 2m doses a week and forecast that by the end of the first quarter numbers vaccinated would be “in the tens of millions”.