Covid vaccine boost for millions as hospitals near breaking point

Covid vaccine boost for millions as hospitals near breaking point

Oxford jab expected to win approval ‘in days’

The coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University and Astra Zeneca is expected to win approval this week as the head of the drugs giant said it “should be” effective against the highly transmissible new strain of the virus.

Senior government officials expect the drugs watchdog to give the green light before Thursday, speeding up the provision of the jab to the 15m people who could end up in hospital if they caught the virus.

Astra Zeneca’s chief executive, Pascal Soriot, today reveals that new data will show the vaccine is as effective as the Pfizer and Moderna jabs that have already been approved, protecting 95% of patients, and is “100% effective” in preventing severe illness requiring hospital treatment.

Approval for the drug cannot come soon