Reaction to approval of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine

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Responding to the news that the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine has been approved by a national regulator – the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency – for the first time, Oxfam’s Health Policy Manager, Anna Marriott said:

“This wonderful news brings renewed hope at a time of rising infections and unprecedented pressure on health services in the UK and beyond. It is now critical that this hope can be shared by all nations.

“Oxford University and AstraZeneca have made welcome efforts to scale up production and pledged 64 per cent of doses to developing countries, yet their limited production capacity means they are only likely to reach 18 per cent of the world’s population at most in the next year. The longer it takes for vaccines to reach everyone, the greater the risk of new variants of COVID-19 emerging and the possibility that their effectiveness could be undermined.

“They should now openly share their vaccine science and technology with the World Health Organisation so that production can take place on a truly global scale. Given that this is a publicly-funded vaccine, the UK government should call on them to do so. No single company can produce enough vaccine for all the world.”

Ends

Note to editors:

To arrange an interview with Anna Marriott, please contact Kai Tabacek on ktabacek1@oxfam.org.uk / 07584 265 077

Oxfam is a member of the People’s Vaccine Alliance, a coalition of global and national organisations and activists united under a common aim of campaigning for a ‘People’s Vaccine’. The call for a People’s Vaccine is backed by past and present world leaders, health experts, faith leaders and economists. For more information visit: https://peoplesvaccine.org

Earlier this month, the People’s Vaccine Alliance revealed that 9 out of 10 people in poor countries are set to miss out on a COVID-19 vaccine next year, based on data available at the end of November 2020.