The British government said on Friday it has formally asked the country’s medicines regulator to assess whether the vaccine for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University should be authorized for use.
The step comes amid questions about preliminary results from trials of the vaccine, after the company and the university acknowledged that the most encouraging part of their findings stemmed from a dosing error.
This development comes after the Philippine government announced on Thursday that it is set to sign an agreement with AstraZeneca for the initial supply of 2 million doses.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he had asked the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency to determine whether the vaccine “meets rigorous safety standards.”
The British government has ordered 100 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, and plans to start distributing it in December if it gains approval.
Oxford and AstraZeneca reported on Monday that their vaccine appeared to be 62-percent effective in people who received two doses, and 90-percent effective when volunteers were given a half dose followed by a full dose. They did not mention at the time, but later acknowledged, that a manufacturing issue had resulted in “a half dose of the vaccine being administered as the first dose” to some participants. SOVEREIGNPH