U.K. rolls out AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine; 82-year-old kidney patient gets first shot


The AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine is easy to store and more affordable

The  Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have stringent storage and distribution requirements. Both vaccines require cold temperatures to maintain their efficacy.

The AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine is easier to store and distribute compared with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines since it does not need to be kept at freezing temperatures. It is also more affordable. The  British pharmaceutical company plans to produce up to 3 billion doses for 2021.

The UK’s rollout of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine follows the discovery of a highly contagious variant of the coronavirus ripping through the nation. The new variant appeared as early as September in Kent. Scientists reported that the N501Y strain is 70% more contagious than other variants and has 23 unique genetic changes, far from the norm.

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AstraZeneca earlier committed to supply millions of doses to low and middle-income countries, and to deliver its vaccine on a not-for-profit basis to nations grappling with both poverty and a raging health crisis.

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