Oxford-astrazeneca Covid Vaccine Approved For Use In Spain

Daniel Fowler
January 31, 2021

United Kingdom media has reported, citing sources in Brussels, that the European Union had revised its stance on Northern Ireland and would exempt it from the vaccine export authorization.

The Amsterdam-based European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Friday recommended the vaccine produced by British-Swedish firm AstraZeneca for conditional market authorization.

That means we don't have to wait in a queue with other European countries and can be confident we can make our own vaccine, in the first instance the AstraZeneca vaccine at CSL in Melbourne.

But whereas AstraZeneca abandoned hopes of a one-dose vaccine after disappointing results from early clinical trials, the J&J vaccine gets a good immune response with a single injection.

On Friday evening, the Swiss authorities said around 500,000 vaccine doses had been delivered to Switzerland so far.

Spain is part of the block buying group which is expecting to receive up to 400 million vaccines from AstraZeneca, and is depending on the outcome of feisty negotiations between the European Union and the Anglo-Swedish drug-maker.

The European Commission has given a heads up to the use of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for all adults.

The measure enabled the 27 European Union member states to block export of vaccines made in their country, including from Belgium where the Pfizer vaccine is produced. Switzerland is affected by the temporary Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine shortage.

Acting Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd said Australia was reaching out across the world to ensure continuity in supplies.

This has caused a great deal of political argument this week, but the health ministry is concerned that the most vulnerable in society will be left without full protection if the two doses are not administered, and given the erratic supply of vaccines at the moment, has opted to complete as many vaccines as possible with the supplies available.

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How effective is the AstraZeneca vaccine?

Dr Kidd confirmed that onshore production of the AstraZeneca jab would begin from March, subject to TGA approval.

The government plans to manufacture 50 million AstraZeneca doses in Australia, and remains confident in its vaccine supply.

The company agreed on Friday (29 January) to publication of its advance purchase agreement with the European Commission.

Right now we need every dose we can get.

Many companies in Europe are running short or may have run short of the vaccine.

At the same time, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal exclusively the Prime Minister Scott Morrison will use his National Press Club address on Monday to unveil details of "billions" of extra dollars to be spent on the rollout.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) said the vaccine was about 60% effective in the trials on which it based its decision, and even though there have been questions about how well it works in people aged 65 and above, because there isn't as much data for that age group - fewer than 10% of the trial volunteers were in this age bracket, it is still sufficient evidence to suggest it works well in the more elderly members of the population for approval to be granted.

The UK, which approved the drug for all ages in December, rebuffed the claims. The regional government of Madrid in Spain had to halt the administration of the vaccine on citizens pending when supplies are shored up.

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