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US expects to approve Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine in April

The vaccine was approved for use in the UK yesterday.

Image: Shutterstock/BaLL LunLa

THE UNITED STATES is expected to approve the low-cost AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine in April, a senior official said.

On Wednesday, the vaccine was approved for use in the UK.

It has yet to be approved in the European Union, and the European Medicines Agency said it is unlikely to get the green light in the next month.  

Moncef Slaoui, the chief advisor to Operation Warp Speed, the military-led US effort for vaccines, told reporters that US trials and assessments would be complete for approval “sometime in early April.”

“Several tens of millions of doses will have been manufactured… and therefore will be available for use if the data supports its approval,” he said.

He did not allege that Britain rushed its decision and praised the UK’s MHRA regulatory agency as “science-based.”

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“Therefore I am not raising any question as to the decision that they have made,” he said.

Having said that, the requirements of the decision process as we have built it here in the US is what I can really comment on.

Slaoui also voiced hope for approval in the first half of February of the Janssen vaccine by Johnson & Johnson, which in contrast to the initially approved vaccines comes in a single dose.

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AFP

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