The UK government said today it has asked its independent medicines regulator to assess AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine as part of the formal approval process for the drug to be rolled out by the end of the year.
The move “marks a significant first step in getting the vaccine approved for deployment” if it meets safety, efficacy and quality standards, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said.
Under British rules, the government must also ask the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to green light the drug.
“We have formally asked the regulator to assess the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, to understand the data and determine whether it meets rigorous safety standards,” said Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
Britain has secured access to 100 million doses of the vaccine produced by the British drug manufacturer in partnership with the University of Oxford.