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LankaWeb – Approval of Oxford vaccine hailed as game-changer in Covid fight


Posted on December 30th, 2020
Courtesy The Times (UK)
Astrazeneca chief promises 2 million doses a week
The Covid vaccine developed by Oxford University and the drugmaker Astrazeneca has been approved for use in Britain, with government advisers saying that a single shot could achieve 70 per cent protection.
The jab was authorised by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) this morning amid mounting concerns over the new fast-spreading coronavirus strain and rising hospital admissions. The first injections are due on Monday.
The Oxford vaccine requires two shots for maximum protection but the strategy for the immunisation campaign has been changed to prioritise giving as many vulnerable people as possible their first dose. Three weeks after getting a first shot of the Oxford vaccine people should have 70 per cent protection against symptomatic Covid, government scientific advisers said today.

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LankaWeb – Vaccines and our own antibodies hold fast against mutant Covid army


Posted on December 27th, 2020
Courtesy The Times (UK)
Science offers hope despite fears  about the effect of quick-spreading coronavirus variants
Borders closed, lockdowns were tightened and dire warnings of aggressive new outbreaks were issued. Scientists worried about the vulnerability of children and politicians agonised over shutting schools.
There was scant relief on the coronavirus front last week, as the discovery of an alarming pair of mutant strains played havoc with the Christmas plans — not to mention the fraying nerves — of Britons, South Africans and a rapidly growing number of other nationalities.
Yet a singular effort by a weary microbiologist in Texas offered at least a glimpse of hope that the mutant army of variant coronavirus strains will ultimately be defeated by science.

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