The UK medicines authority has approved the use of the corona vaccine developed by British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford,
The British government has ordered 100 million doses from the manufacturer and will therefore be able to expand the vaccination program considerably, enough to vaccinate 50 million people.
The Netherlands also has an option for nearly twelve million doses of AstraZeneca.
Together, the European member states have an option for about four hundred million doses.
Previously, the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech got green light in the UK, as well as in Europe and elsewhere.
A crucial advantage of the AstraZeneca vaccine is that it can be kept in normal refrigerators.
Transport and vaccination are therefore a lot less expensive and complex.
The Pfizer vaccine must be transported at a temperature of -70 degrees and has a limited shelf life after thawing.
European approval can take weeks
European countries are still awaiting approval of the vaccine by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
This approval could take a few more weeks, deputy director Noël Wathion of EMA told the Belgian newspaper
Het Nieuwsblad on
"The data we currently have is not even enough to give the AstraZeneca vaccine a conditional authorization," said Wathion.
'Winning formula found'
Last Sunday, AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot told
The Sunday Times
that the vaccine's effectiveness could rise to 95 percent thanks to a "winning formula."
The vaccine from pharmaceuticals Pfizer and BioNTech is also 95 percent effective.
The results on which Soriot bases his statements have not yet been published.
In November, the AstraZeneca vaccine still protected 70 percent of vaccinated people.
Britons want to hand out as many first shots as possible
As with the Pfizer vaccine, two vaccinations are required before the injection provides enough protection against the corona virus.
However, the United Kingdom wants to give as many people as possible the first vaccination first, writes
The goal is to protect as many vulnerable people as possible.
The second shot is given within 12 weeks and is especially important for long-term protection according to British authorities.