UK approves Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine

It marks a major turning point and will lead to a massive expansion in the UK's immunisation campaign, which is aimed at getting life back to normal there.

FILE: The University of Oxford and drug manufacturer AstraZeneca have developed a COVID-19 vaccine. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The coronavirus vaccine designed by scientists at the University of Oxford has now been approved for use in the UK.

It marks a major turning point and will lead to a massive expansion in the UK's immunisation campaign, which is aimed at getting life back to normal there.

The BBC is reporting the UK has ordered 100 million doses from the manufacturer AstraZeneca, enough to vaccinate 50 million people.

The approval, by the medicine’s regulator, means the vaccine is both safe and effective.

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was designed in the first months of 2020, tested on the first volunteer in April, and has since been through large-scale clinical trials involving thousands of people.

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