The first immunisations using the BioNTech and Pfizer vaccine could take place from December 7, the FT said, citing unnamed sources.
This Saturday, the British government announced the appointment of Deputy Nadhim Zahawi as Secretary of State responsible for overseeing the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines in the country.
In an attempt to clear up uncertainty and confusion surrounding the late-stage trials of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, AstraZeneca could initiate an additional global trial.
"But we want it to be based on data and science", he said. A third vaccine from USA firm Moderna is not far behind. But its storage requirements mean that, at first, it is likely to be sent to 52 NHS vaccine hubs, which are set to begin by offering the jabs to health service workers. The BioNTech and Pfizer is also one of Australia's top vaccine candidates, with the government purchasing 10 million doses with the option to purchase more when supply is available.
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The potential move comes following AstraZeneca and Oxford University's acknowledgment of a manufacturing error that has raised questions about the vaccine's preliminary results. Another interesting issue is that some volunteers were only given half a dose of the experimental vaccine, according to the AstraZeneca statement on Wednesday. American regulators ask vaccine makers for raw data, which the F.D.A. reanalyzes to validate company results.
The group of volunteers that received the lower dose appeared to be much better protected than those who received the two full doses. They said half the dose was being administered due to a production error, and are planning a new clinical trial to investigate the most effective dose method.
"If my GP rings me and says 'I've got an approved vaccine, ' I really don't care which one it is", he told the BBC.
© PA Wire/PA Images People make their way along Commercial road in Bournemouth, Dorset, in the final week of a four week national lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus.
"We have formally asked the regulator to assess the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, to understand the data and determine whether it meets rigorous safety standards", Hancock said in a statement. Regulators in Britain and elsewhere in Europe rely more heavily on the companies' own reports, Dr. Ward said, though they reserve the right to verify their accuracy.