WEDNESDAY, Dec. 30, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Britain became the first country to give authorization to the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
The British government also decided to start giving as many people as possible a first dose of vaccines, rather than keeping supplies for second shots, expanding the number of people who will be vaccinated.
Some people in clinical trials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine were given the two doses several months apart. Regulators said that the first dose of the vaccine had 70 percent effectiveness in protecting against COVID-19 in the period between the first dose taking effect and a second shot.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca shot could become the dominant form of inoculation because at $3 to $4 a dose, it is a fraction of the cost of some other vaccines. It can also be shipped and stored in normal refrigerators for six months, rather than in the ultracold freezers needed by vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.
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