Latest reports suggest that Oxford University might be able to start the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines within 3 months. The full roll out programme for adults could take six months or less after approval, says some government sources of the country.
“The Times” reported that the trials are running at a faster pace for the university with British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. Sources have it that the majority of UK residents will receive vaccines as early as Easter.
This distribution will be done in a particular order. The UK Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunization had developed a protocol for the dispersal. The first deposition of the generated vaccines will be made available for people belonging to higher risk categories, mainly those who are 65 years and above. This will be followed by younger adults including those belonging to ethnic communities. The next phase will include those who are 50 years and above. Younger adults, who are least prone to the contagion, will receive the vaccine last.
The United Kingdom had already booked in advance a whopping 100 million doses of the vaccines, even before they needed to pass all the regulatory stages. This is done in order to save time. Scientists are hoping that the vaccine trials will be completed by the end of 2020. After that, they will need to satisfy all the required conditions by the UK’s National Health Service( NHS). The approval of the NHS will mark the mass distribution of the vaccine.
Barriers to overcome
Several others within the UK are still debating about the timeline of the vaccine distribution. Professor Nilay Shah, head of Chemical Engineering at the Imperial College London, pointed out the barriers they had to overcome in the generation and distribution of the vaccine. He said.
“Even when the vaccine is available, it does not mean within a month everybody will be vaccinated. We’re talking about six to nine months to a year after a vaccine is approved.”
The Department of Health of the UK Government also conveyed that the distribution process will take place at a much faster pace. A spokesman from the department said. “This study fails to reflect the enormous amount of planning and preparation that has taken place across the government to quickly roll out a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine.”
“We are confident we have adequate provision or transport, PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) and logistical expertise to deploy a Covid-19 vaccine across the country as quickly as possible.” He added.
European Medicines Agency (EMA) last Thursday said that it has started looking through the data of the potential vaccine developed by Oxford and AstraZeneca. This will speed up the process of approval.
India also joins hands with AstraZeneca
The Serum Institute of India has also collaborated with AstraZeneca for the production of vaccine doses in the country. The vaccine will be tested on 1600 people from all across the country.