The United Kingdom became the first country to approve AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine as the nation combats a sharp spike in confirmed cases.
The vaccine, developed in partnership with Oxford University, can be stored at much warmer temperatures than other approved candidates. Its approval followed an official recommendation from Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, and the country has already purchased 100 million doses, the company said in its statement.
Two drugmakers announced Friday the resumption of U.S. testing of their COVID-19 vaccine candidates.
Testing of AstraZeneca’s vaccine candidate had been halted since early September, while Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine study was paused at the beginning of last week. Each company had a study volunteer develop a serious health issue, requiring a review of safety data.
An email from Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Interim Director Lance Himes riled-up Ohioans. The email was sent Tuesday to prospective attendees of an ODH webinar on the state’s vaccine plan.
In the email, Himes wrote, “It is important to note that the Ohio COVID-19 Vaccination Program strategy is a draft framework outlining how to implement mandatory requirements once more details of a vaccine are known.”
The suspension of a huge COVID-19 vaccine study over an illness in a single participant shows there will be “no compromises” on safety in the race to develop the shot, the chief of the National Institutes of Health told Congress on Wednesday.
AstraZeneca has put on hold studies of its vaccine candidate in the U.S. and other countries while it investigates whether a British volunteer’s illness is a side effect or a coincidence.