The UK medicines authority has approved the use of the corona vaccine from British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford,
European approval may take a few more weeks.
The British government has ordered 100 million doses, enough to inoculate 50 million people.
Thanks to the approval, the vaccination program can be expanded considerably.
This is the second corona vaccine that has been approved by the regulator MHRA, which concludes that the vaccine is safe and effective.
The Netherlands has an option for nearly twelve million doses.
Together, the European member states have an option for about four hundred million doses.
However, European countries are still awaiting approval of the vaccine by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
Britons are already being vaccinated with the vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech.
But a crucial advantage of the AstraZeneca vaccine is that it can be kept in normal refrigerators.
It can therefore be used more easily in nursing homes or at GP stations, for example.
The Pfizer vaccine, on the other hand, must be transported at a temperature of -70 degrees and has a limited shelf life after thawing.
Another advantage is that the new corona vaccine would be cheaper than comparable products.
A dose costs
about the same as "a cup of coffee",
European approval can take weeks
The European approval may still take a few weeks, deputy director Noël Wathion of EMA told
Het Nieuwsblad on
"The data we currently have is not even enough to give the AstraZeneca vaccine a conditional authorization," Wathion told the Belgian newspaper.
'Winning formula found'
Last Sunday, AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot told
The Sunday Times
that the vaccine's effectiveness has risen 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
British Health Minister Matt Hancock says people will be vaccinated with the new drug from January 4.
Hancock calls the vaccine approval good news.
"This brings closer to the day when we can return to our normal lives."
As with the Pfizer vaccine, two vaccinations are required before the injection offers 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.