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Business News/ News / India/  'Vaccine for the world' approved in UK: Key things to know about Oxford COVID-19 vaccine
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'Vaccine for the world' approved in UK: Key things to know about Oxford COVID-19 vaccine

'Easy to produce' and 'easy to handle' Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine would become 'vaccine for the world', the developers believed. Know the key details

Serum Institute of India will be producing Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for India and other developing countries (AFP)Premium
Serum Institute of India will be producing Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for India and other developing countries (AFP)

Britain on Wednesday became the first country to approve a coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. Dubbed as AZD1222, the vaccine showed an average efficacy of 70.4%, with no hospitalisations or severe disease, the University of Oxford mentioned earlier. 'Easy to produce' and 'easy to handle' Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine would become “vaccine for the world," the developers believed.

Serum Institute of India will be producing Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for India and other developing countries. The Pune-based drugmaker had submitted its proposal for emergency licensure for the vaccine earlier this month. "This is great and encouraging news," chief executive Adar Poonawalla said in a statement after UK approval. "We will wait for the final approval from Indian regulators," he added.

Here are the key things to know about Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

Easy to store:

Unlike the other vaccines that have been approved so far, this vaccine could be kept at normal refrigerator temperatures of between two and eight degrees Celsius. The Moderna vaccine needs to be stored at -20C, while the Pfizer/BioNTech product must be kept at -70C. So the vaccine is expected to be relied on in many developing countries.

Easy to produce

One of the major advantages of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine will be its cost. It will be priced at $3.40 per dose. AstraZeneca signed an agreement with Serum Institute of India to produce 1 billion Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine for low-and-middle income countries.

Serum Institute of India the world's biggest producer of vaccines, has already stockpiled about 50 million doses, enough for 25 million people.

Efficacy

Researchers claim the vaccine protected against disease in 62% of those given two full doses and in 90% of those initially given a half dose. The British laboratory announced in interim findings in November that its vaccine was on average 70% effective, compared with more than 90% for Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.

Virus-Vectored vaccine

The vaccine is "virus-vectored", which means it is a version of a virus that normally infects chimpanzees and has been modified with a portion of the COVID-19 called the "spike protein" to fire the immune system.

Once in human cells, the vaccine should help stimulate the production of antibodies that recognizee the virus.

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Published: 30 Dec 2020, 06:04 PM IST
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