The United Kingdom could approve AstraZeneca Plc’s AZN COVID-19 vaccine as early as Tuesday, the Financial Times reports.
What Happened: The U.K.’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency would give approval to the AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine imminently, government officials said Sunday, according to FT.
“The medicines regulator is reviewing the final data from the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca phase 3 clinical trials to determine whether the vaccine meets their strict standards of quality, safety and effectiveness,” said the U.K.’s Department of Health, as per FT.
There is reportedly no clarity on the dosage that will be approved.
Why It Matters: Ministers in the U.K. are working on plans to inoculate the public using AstraZeneca’s vaccine beginning Jan. 4 at venues such as sports stadiums and conference centers, Politico reported — citing U.K. media.
The authorities in the U.K. reportedly want 2 million people to receive either the AstraZeneca or the Pfizer Inc PFE shot.
More than 600,000 people in the U.K. have already been inoculated using the vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech SE BNTX, according to the U.K.’s Department of Health and Social Care.
The government’s efforts to ramp up vaccination comes as the U.K. struggles with a new highly-transmissible strain of COVID-19.
AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot told U.K. media that he thinks the “vaccine should remain effective” against the new strain, as per Politico.
“We can’t be sure, so we’re going to test that,” said Soriot.
Price Action: AstraZeneca shares closed nearly 0.5% lower at $48.52 on Thursday.
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