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The UK has secured 100 million doses of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine as the jab proved itself to be 70% effective in the latest testing.
The vaccine, codenamed AZD1222, is being developed with the help of pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca and it is hoped four million doses will be rolled out before the end of the year.
More than 20,000 volunteers have been tested and during one course of dosing, where people were given a half dose followed by a full measure at least a month after, there was a success rate of around 90%.
When two full doses were given at least a month apart, the success rate of the Oxford inoculation dropped to 62%.
The UK's order will be enough to immunise 50 million people – two doses per person – meaning it will almost be enough to vaccinate the entire nation.
Professor Andrew Pollard, chief investigator of the Oxford Vaccine Trial at Oxford, said: "Excitingly, we've found that one of our dosing regiments may be around 90% effective and if this doping regime is used, more people could be vaccinated with planned vaccine supply."
While the effectiveness of the Oxford vaccine is down on the inoculations developed by Pfizer and Moderna, it is far cheaper than those two, and is easier to store and transport to every corner of the world.
It is likely to play a significant role in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic is approved by regulators.
The Oxford researchers have performed the normally decade-long process of developing a vaccine in just 10 months.
Care home workers and staff will be first in line for the vaccine, followed by healthcare staff and those older than 85.
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