U.K. approves coronavirus vaccine AstraZeneca made with Oxford

AstraZeneca on Wednesday said the coronavirus vaccine it’s developed with Oxford University has been approved by the U.K. government.

AstraZeneca AZN, +1.05% AZN, +3.31% said the COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for emergency supply in the U.K. so that vaccinations may begin early in the new year.

It said the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has provided authorization for emergency supply of what it now calls COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca.

The authorization recommends two doses administered with an interval of between four and 12 weeks.

The U.K. was the first government to approve the vaccine made by Pfizer PFE, +0.62% and BioNTech BNTX, +0.19%, and has administered the third-highest total of shots, according to the Our World in Data tracker.

The AstraZeneca vaccine was criticized after data showed it was more effective with a half dose followed by a full dose, rather than two full doses. AstraZeneca said additional safety and efficacy data for the vaccine will continue to accumulate from ongoing clinical trials.

The advantage the AstraZeneca vaccine has over the Pfizer one is that it can be stored at normal refrigeration temperatures, rather than needing supercold storage. AstraZeneca plans to make up to 3 billion vaccines to be distributed throughout the developing world.

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