Oxford vaccine will be a 'game changer' once approved, says scientist

8 December 2020, 21:07

By Fiona Jones

Royal College of General Practitioners chair Professor Martin Marshall explains why the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will be a global "game-changer" once it is approved.

The NHS has become the first health service in the world to roll out a Covid vaccine, with jabs being administered across the country from Tuesday, dubbed "V-Day" by Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

The Prime Minister hailed the UK as taking a"huge step forward" in its fight against Covid-19 but has acknowledged Pfizer's vaccine does provide logistical difficulties in delivering as it needs to be stored at minus 70C.

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Professor Marshall explained that Oxford University's vaccine, which is expected to be approved in the coming weeks, will be a "game-changer."

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"It'll be a game-changer, certainly in the UK, partly because of its large supply and partly because it's easier to look after than the Pfizer one, easier to deliver," he said.

"Perhaps just as importantly it'll be a game-changer globally as well as it can be delivered in developing countries more easily than more fragile, less stable vaccines," he said, "if we look at it from a global perspective, the AstraZeneca is really exciting."

Professor Marshall told Iain Dale that there are other international vaccines; the US's Moderna which is "looking very promising" and one in Russia which is due to be rolled out.

"There's quite a large number of vaccines all at different stages of development all using slightly different techniques which I think is probably healthy. It's good to have different forms of vaccines available," he said.

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