The British approval is the so-called emergency approval following a recommendation from the Swedish Medicines Agency (MHRA). It is based only on the first study of the vaccine.
The UK does what it does sometimes, which is to start using a vaccine before it is fully approved by the authorities because you think it is so important to use it that you take a little risk, state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell tells SVT.
Britain must now ensure that as many people as possible are vaccinated as quickly as possible, according to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
– That’s great news, says Johnson.
Pascal Soriot, CEO of Astra Zeneca, says the first doses of the vaccine will already be rolled out on Wednesday or Thursday. Vaccination is scheduled to start on January 4.
Easier to handle
Astra Zeneca’s CEO says the company can deliver 2 million doses a week. Soriot also believes the vaccine is effective against the most contagious new strain of virus found in the UK.
Astra Zeneca vaccine, unlike already approved Pfizer vaccines, can be stored, transported and handled under normal refrigeration conditions, from two to eight degrees, for at least six months. It is seen as a great advantage both practically and economically when it is sent out to the world.
Possible EU approval in January
For the EU and Sweden, the British message really means nothing, vaccination coordinator Richard Bergstrom tells SVT.
– We have a schedule where we expect it to be approved by the European Medicines Agency, the EMA, at the end of January at the earliest, possibly at the beginning of February.
EMA is awaiting a response from a large clinical study in the United States on the Astra Zeneca vaccine. Richard Bergstrom planned for Swedish use of the Astra Zeneca vaccine from mid-February.
Also according to the planning of the European Union and Sweden, Moderna’s vaccine is ahead of Astra Zeneca in terms of approval and use.
– We expect to approve it in the evening of the thirteenth of January. Bergstrom says it’s going according to plan.
The first doses of Moderna are expected to arrive in Sweden within two weeks after that.
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