Boris Johnson applauds ‘brilliant’ AstraZeneca vaccine for saving ‘millions of lives’

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On December 30th 2020, the UK was the first country to approve the Oxford-AstraZeneca’s vaccine after months of clinical trials. Oxford University’s Jenner Institute first joined forces with private company Vaccitech before the Oxford Vaccine Group stepped in too.

The acclaimed university received funding from the UK and US governments and signed a licensing agreement with AstraZeneca in May 2020.

According to Boris Johnson’s Government, over £88m of public money has been invested in developing and manufacturing the vaccine overall.

The British Prime Minister released a statement congratulating the scientists behind the trailblazing vaccine a year later.

Boris Johnson said: “Our fight against Covid in the UK and around the world would not have been possible without the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

“Developed by brilliant scientists at Oxford and delivered on a not-for-profit basis thanks to AstraZeneca, this vaccine has provided 50m doses to the British public and over 2.5bn to more than 170 other countries.

“We can all be incredibly proud of – and grateful for – a jab that has saved many millions of lives.”

Used worldwide, the Oxford-AstraZeneca’s vaccine has been approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

After reports showed a possible link between the dose of vaccine and blood clots, the WHO reviewed the claims and stated the vaccine’s benefits outweigh its potential risks.

Tom Keith-Roach, President of AstraZeneca UK, said he was “quietly humbled and hugely proud of the work we have done.”

“This has only been possible thanks to the tireless efforts and is to the huge credit of so many colleagues, partners, healthcare workers, volunteers and members of the public who have stepped forward to support this unprecedented national effort.”

“There remain huge challenges ahead, much vital work is still to be done, but in 2021 we achieved remarkable things, and this should give us confidence and renewed hope for 2022.”

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said the “UK-made and government-funded vaccine” had been “absolutely pivotal in helping to save millions of lives around the world”.

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He added: “I’m incredibly proud of the role the UK has played in developing, researching and manufacturing ground-breaking vaccines and treatments during the pandemic.”

“Vaccines are the best way to protect people from COVID-19, and I’m urging everybody to play their part in this national mission – roll up your sleeves and get your jabs.”

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