London, December 23: The Oxford University and Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca Plc applied for the approval of their joint COVID-19 vaccine candidate before the the UK regulatory body. As part of the process to seek clearance, the vaccine developers have submitted the full set of data related to their clinical trials.
UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock, while speaking to reporters on Wednesday, indicated that a second vaccine against coronavirus could be approved in the next few days. Second 'More Transmissible Strain' of Coronavirus Linked to South Africa Detected in UK, Says Matt Hancock.
Oxford-AstraZeneca has formally applied for regulatory approval before the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Hancock confirmed. The panel, Britain's topmost government agency to review drugs and related products, will take a call after analysing the safety of the vaccine candidate.
“I’m delighted to be able to tell you that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine developed here in the UK has submitted its full data package to the MHRA for approval,” Hancock said.
“This is the next step towards a decision on the deployment of the vaccine, which is already being manufactured, including here in the UK," the Health Secretary further added.
The announcement by Hancock comes on a day when the authorities in the UK detected another strain of coronavirus. The new strain, different from the one detected earlier, is also stated to be "more transmissible" than the COVID-19-causing virus known in its original form.
The latest strain of coronavirus is linked to South Africa, Hancock said, adding that all passengers who arrived to the UK from the African country in the past two weeks must "self-isolate".