The UK medicines regulator has approved the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine from Oxford University and AstraZeneca, according to the Guardian.
Oxford University and AstraZeneca began late-stage testing of their vaccine, dubbed AZD1222, in the US in September. Earlier testing had suggested that the vaccine, which targets the viral spike protein, led to an increase in spike-specific and neutralizing antibodies. Oxford University and AstraZeneca then announced that their vaccine had a high efficacy, though there were questions about its dosing regimen.
The UK's Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority has approved the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, with the Department of Health and Social Care saying that the agency found the vaccine to meet "strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness," as the Guardian reports.
NPR adds that the UK has ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine, which it says would be enough to immunize about three-quarters of the population. According to NPR, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called the vaccine's approval "truly fantastic news."
"We will now move to vaccinate as many people as quickly as possible," Johnson says.
The UK previously gave the OK to the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine.