UK approves Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine

The Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine received approval for use in the United Kingdom with the first doses to be given beginning Monday.

A researcher in a laboratory at the Jenner Institute in Oxford, England, works on the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University. (Photo: John Cairns/University of Oxford via AP)

The vaccine is expected to be relied on in many countries because of its low cost and easy storage, contrary to the others which require extremely cold temperatures.

The UK has ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine, enough to vaccinate 50 million people with the two-dose requirement.

Combined with the already approved Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine order, this would be enough to cover the nation’s entire population, said Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

Groups prioritised for the vaccines include residents at care facilities, those over 80 and healthcare workers.

The nation said it hopes that it will soon be able to vaccinate two million patients weekly, even as England undergoes its strictest restrictions yet with an outbreak of a variant strain.

There were over 53 thousand cases of the virus yesterday, the highest increase since mass testing.