- Britain has ordered 100 million doses of Oxford's COVID-19 vaccine
- People being vaccinated will be protected within weeks: Expert
- Oxford vaccine will help achieve herd immunity in UK: Expert
London: The coronavirus vaccine designed by scientists at the University of Oxford and produced by AstraZeneca was on Wednesday (December 30) approved for human use by the UK’s independent regulator. The approval by Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) means the vaccine is both safe and effective. The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) was already lining up thousands of medics and volunteers to be ready to deliver jabs up and down the country.
The vaccine, which also has a tie-up with the Serum Institute of India, was being evaluated by the MHRA after the final cut of data was submitted by the government last Monday. It comes as a senior UK scientist pinpointed the Oxford vaccine as a real gamechanger, which could see the country achieve herd immunity as a result of vaccination against the deadly virus by the summer months of 2021.
“The people that have been vaccinated will be protected within a matter of weeks and that’s very important,” Professor Calum Semple, a respiratory disease expert and member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), told the BBC.
Britain has ordered 100 million doses of the jab, with 40 million expected to be available by the end of March. AstraZeneca chief Pascal Soriot has stressed that researchers have found the “winning formula” using two doses of the vaccine, ahead of the final results being published. He has raised hopes that the jabs are more effective than first thought and should be effective against a new variant of the coronavirus that is now causing havoc in most parts of the UK.
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NDTV – Dettol Banega Swasth India campaign is an extension of the five-year-old Banega Swachh India initiative helmed by Campaign Ambassador Amitabh Bachchan. It aims to spread awareness about critical health issues facing the country. In wake of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the need for WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) is reaffirmed as handwashing is one of the ways to prevent Coronavirus infection and other diseases. The campaign highlights the importance of nutrition and healthcare for women and children to prevent maternal and child mortality, fight malnutrition, stunting, wasting, anaemia and disease prevention through vaccines. Importance of programmes like Public Distribution System (PDS), Mid-day Meal Scheme, POSHAN Abhiyan and the role of Aganwadis and ASHA workers are also covered. Only a Swachh or clean India where toilets are used and open defecation free (ODF) status achieved as part of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014, can eradicate diseases like diahorrea and become a Swasth or healthy India. The campaign will continue to cover issues like air pollution, waste management, plastic ban, manual scavenging and sanitation workers and menstrual hygiene.