The COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford and AstraZeneca has been approved for use in the United Kingdom.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency confirmed that the vaccine is ready for use and will be administered in two doses, 12 weeks apart.

“The Government has today accepted the recommendation from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to authorise Oxford University/AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine for use,” a UK Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said.

This is the third vaccine to be approved following the passing of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the Moderna vaccine approved for emergency use in the USA.

According to The Independent, millions of doses are now expected to be rolled out throughout the United Kingdom from Monday, January 4.

This vaccine is slightly more accessible as it is easier to store. The Pfizer vaccine requires ultra-low temperatures and therefore significant fridge storage, whereas this vaccine can be stored at more standard refrigeration temperatures. It is also expected to work on the new variant of COVID-19 that has been identified in South African and the United Kingdom.

According to SkyNews, it is also the cheapest vaccine, likely to cost no more than £3 (around R60) per dose. 

Although South Africans were participants in the trial of this vaccine it is not guaranteed we will be receiving it. As part of the COVAX initiative the South African government is participating in, it is not clear which vaccine will be sent to the country.

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