University of Oxford

Regional News • Europe • France
France will offer the Oxford/AstraZeneca Coronavirus vaccine to some people over 65
France will offer the Oxford/AstraZeneca Coronavirus vaccine to some people over 65
Credit: Gencat, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons CC0 Waiver)

France has lifted the age restriction of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Coronavirus vaccine. The vaccine will now be offered to "people aged 50 and above who have comorbidities such as diabetes, high blood pressure or a history of cancer can be vaccinated with AstraZeneca, including those aged 65 to 74."

“The Haute Autorité de Santé now considers as of today that all three vaccines that we have in France have a remarkable efficacy to protect people against the risk of severe forms of Covid-19,” Health minister Olivier Véran said.

Regional News • Americas • Canada
Canada authorizes the AstraZeneca's Coronavirus vaccine
ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222); Oxford University-AstraZeneca
ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 vaccine (AZD1222); Oxford University-AstraZeneca Credit: Agência Brasília, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Health Canada regulators authorized Oxford University-AstraZeneca's Coronavirus vaccine for adults 18+ on Friday.

"This is very encouraging news. It means more people vaccinated, and sooner. Because for AstraZeneca, just like we were for Pfizer and Moderna, we are ready to get doses rolling," Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. "Vaccines will keep arriving faster and faster as we head into the spring."

Health
Ghana becomes the first nation in the world to receive Covax vaccines
Ghana becomes the first nation in the world to receive Covax vaccines
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler. (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Ghana received delivery of 600,000 doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 jabs acquired through the Covax initiative. The initiative is an immunisation-sharing scheme designed to help developing countries in the vaccination effort.

The United Nations-backed initiative delivered Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines produced by the Serum Institute of India.

The World Health Organization director Dr Tedros Adhanom previously said that bilateral deals between rich nationals and vaccine manufacturers have made it more difficult for Covax to acquire jabs, leading Rwanda's President Paul Kagame to condemn "hypocrisy and double standards" in global distribution efforts.

Regional News • World
AstraZeneca's vaccine has limited efficacy against South Africa variant – research
COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca Jan 2021 (UK)
COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca Jan 2021 (UK) Credit: Whispyhistory, via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine offers limited protection against mild infection of the South African variant (B.1.351). This is according to initial results of a study conducted by South Africa's University of Witwatersrand and Oxford University, with which AstraZeneca co-developed the vaccine. Oxford University and AstraZeneca are reportedly adapting the vaccine for the mutation and predict it will be ready by autumn.

Health
India says Brazil rushed to send plane for vaccine
India says Brazil rushed to send plane for vaccine
Credit: Tony Winston/MS (Public Domain)

A spokesman for the Indian Foreign Ministry told the Hindustan Times that it was "too early" to send the batches of the vaccine, produced by the Serum Institute in partnership with Oxford University and pharmacist AstraZeneca.

On 5 January, Brazil's Foreign Ministry confirmed the purchase of Oxford vaccine doses produced in India, despite the Indian government's announcement that the vaccine's export was banned. The statement also mentioned plans to distribute the vaccines to Brazilian states within a few days of authorization from the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) and highlighted the successful acquisition of the doses with an example of the "excellent relations" between the two countries.

Health
AstraZeneca applies for approval of Covid-19 in European Union
AstraZeneca applies for approval of Covid-19 in European Union
Credit: Ashley Winkler for Pendect

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has announced that AstraZeneca has applied for approval of their Covid-19 which has been developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.

According to the EMA "the assessment of the vaccine, known as COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca, will proceed under an accelerated timeline" and added that "an opinion on the marketing authorisation could be issued by 29 January during the meeting of EMA’s scientific committee for human medicines (CHMP), provided that the data submitted on the quality, safety and efficacy of the vaccine are sufficiently robust and complete and that any additional information required to complete the assessment is promptly submitted."

Regional News • Europe • United Kingdom
UK to roll out Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine starting Monday

The UK is set to start administering the new Covid-19 vaccine from Oxford University and the AstraZeneca group on Monday, stating that the "NHS will be the first health service in the world to provide this life-saving vaccine."

The vaccine will initially be delivered in a small number of hospitals, but will be widely distributed to hundreds of vaccination centers later this week.

Health
One person in Italy tests positive for the British Covid-19 variant
One person in Italy tests positive for the British Covid-19 variant
Credit: Ashley Winkler for Pendect

The scientific department of the Celio military polyclinic, which is collaborating with the Higher Institute of Health in this emergency, has sequenced the genome of the Sars-Cov-2 virus from a subject who tested positive with the variant found in recent weeks in Great Britain.

The patient, and his partner, who returned from the UK on a flight that landed at Fiumicino airport in Rome in the last few days, are in isolation "and have followed, together with other family members and close contacts, all the procedures established by the Ministry of Health". Several experts agree on this last point, from the president of the Higher Health Council Franco Locatelli to virologist Fabrizio Pregliasco and Giacomo Gorini, a researcher at Oxford University's Jenner Institute.

Health
AstraZeneca likely to do another study of Covid-19 vaccine after accidental lower dose shows higher efficacy
AstraZeneca likely to do another study of Covid-19 vaccine after accidental lower dose shows higher efficacy
Credit: unsplash/ Obi Onyeador

AstraZeneca and Oxford University on Wednesday acknowledged a manufacturing error that has raised questions about their Covid-19 vaccine after revealing earlier this week it was “highly effective” against the disease. AstraZeneca is likely to conduct an additional global trial to assess the efficacy of its Covid-19 vaccine, according to the company’s CEO.

The vaccine's rollout to the rest of the world likely won't be affected, according to AstraZeneca's CEO, since the studies that have been conducted, including safety data, are already in place from participants around the world outside of the U.S.

While vaccine candidates from Moderna and Pfizer have also shown robust efficacy in early Phase 3 data, hopes are riding high on the AstraZeneca version because it relies on a different technology, can be stored and transported at standard refrigerator temperatures rather than frozen, and costs just a fraction per dose compared to the other two leading vaccines in development.

Health
Study: One in five recovered Covid-19 patients develop cognitive deficits
Study: One in five recovered Covid-19 patients develop cognitive deficits
Credit: unsplash.com / Nik Shuliahin

Researchers from Britain’s Oxford University have found that 20% of Covid-19 patients are diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder within 90 days. The study analyzed over 62,000 cases of Covid-19 in the United States and has been published in The Lancet Psychiatry journal.

Mental health specialists not directly involved with the study evaluated the findings and stated that it adds to growing evidence that Covid-19 can increase the risk of a range of psychiatric illnesses as it can affect the brain and mind. People who had recovered, including those no longer reporting symptoms, exhibited significant cognitive deficits when controlling for age, gender, education level, income, racial-ethnic group and pre-existing medical disorders.

Health
AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine trial volunteer that has been given placebo dies
João Pedro Feitosa
João Pedro Feitosa Credit: Facebook Reproduction

A volunteer in the clinical trial of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University has died on October 15 in Brazil, the Brazilian health authority (Anvisa) announced.

The volunteer, João Pedro R. Feitosa, has died due to complications from Covid-19. Still, according to the Brazilian newspaper, O Globo Feitosa has been given a placebo and not the trial vaccine.

Oxford confirmed the clinical trial would not be paused, stating that after careful assessment "there have been no concerns about the safety of the clinical trial."

Health
AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine trial resumes after pausing over safety concerns
AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine trial resumes after pausing over safety concerns
Credit: AstraZeneca

Clinical trials for the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine have resumed in the UK following confirmation by the Medicines Health Regulatory Authority (MHRA) that it was safe to do so.

The company paused trials earlier this week after a possible adverse severe reaction in one participant.

In a statement, the company said it "will continue to work with health authorities across the world and be guided as to when other clinical trials can resume to provide the vaccine broadly, equitably and at no profit during this pandemic."

Regional News • Americas
Argentina, Mexico to produce AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine
Ginés González García and Alberto Fernández
Ginés González García and Alberto Fernández Credit: Argentina.gob.ar (Public Domain)

Argentinean President Alberto Fernández announced Wednesday that the private laboratory AstraZeneca would begin to produce in Argentina and Mexico a vaccine against the coronavirus that is developed in conjunction with the University of Oxford.

The president explained the goal is "to produce between 150 and 250 million vaccines for all of Latin America -except for Brazil- that will be available by the first half of 2021."

Fernández stated, "Latin American production will be in charge of Argentina and Mexico, and that will allow timely and sufficient access to potential vaccine for all countries in the region."

Health
AstraZeneca to distribute 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vaccine at no profit
AstraZeneca Manufacturing
AstraZeneca Manufacturing Credit: AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca, which will produce the promising Covid-19 vaccine developed by the University of Oxford, announced Tuesday that it will distribute 2 billion doses at cost.

The announcement was made by Menelas Pangalos, executive vice president of the company, in a virtual meeting before an investigative subcommittee of the Energy and Commerce Committee of the US Congress.

Health
Study: Oxford Covid-19 vaccine triggers immune response

Researchers from Oxford have published new results from their ongoing trails of a possible Covid-19 vaccine. During the last trial that involved 1,077 people, it showed that the experimental vaccine not only leads the patients to develop antibodies but also T-cells that are able to fight the virus.

The United Kingdom has already ordered 100 million doses of the vaccine. Further trials are still underway to determine if patients develop a long term immunitiy.

Health
Oxford researchers claim that their Covid-19 vaccine could give long term immunity
Oxford researchers claim that their Covid-19 vaccine could give long term immunity
Credit: unsplash.com / National Cancer Institute

Professor Sarah Gilbert has announced that the Covid-19 vaccine that is currently in trials at Oxford could provide long term immunity and has been found to generate three times higher levels of antibodies than in patients who recovered from Covid-19. Similar vaccines that use the same type of technology have shown that people show strong immune responses even after a longer time. Gilbert has said that they are optimistic as earlier studies have shown promising results.

Regional News • Americas • Brazil
Brazil to start production of experimental Covid-19 vaccine
Brazil to start production of experimental Covid-19 vaccine
Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Creative Commons CC0 Waiver)

The Brazilian government has announced on Saturday that it will start producing an experimental Covid-19 vaccine locally. The government has signed an agreement worth $127 million with AstraZeneca who developed the experimental vaccine. According to the World Health Organization the vaccine is considered the world's leading candidate which has been developed by researchers at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Human trials are still undergoing and final proof of the effect against Covid-19 is still pending.

Regional News • Americas • Brazil
Brazil is close to a deal to produce Oxford Covid-19 vaccine
Brazil is close to a deal to produce Oxford Covid-19 vaccine
Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Creative Commons CC0 Waiver)

Brazilian interim Health Minister Eduardo Pazuello said Brazil is close to signing a contract to produce a trial vaccine developed by the Oxford University and supported by AstraZeneca.

The country started human clinical trials for the potential vaccine this weekend with 3,000 people in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, becoming the first country outside the United Kingdom to test the vaccine.

Oxford researchers expect to launch the vaccine by year-end.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Malala Yousafzai graduates from Oxford University
Pakistani activist for female education Malala Yousafzai with Prime Minister of Japan Shinzō Abe in 2019
Pakistani activist for female education Malala Yousafzai with Prime Minister of Japan Shinzō Abe in 2019 Credit: 内閣官房内閣広報室 / CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0)

Nobel Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai has graduated from the University of Oxford with a degree in philosophy, politics and economics. In 2012, Yousafzai was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman due to her activism for female education.

In a Tweet, Yousafzai shared images of her graduation celebration and wrote: "Hard to express my joy and gratitude right now as I completed my Philosophy, Politics and Economics degree at Oxford. I don’t know what’s ahead. For now, it will be Netflix, reading and sleep."

Health
Covid-19 breakthrough: Dexamethasone proves first life-saving drug
Dexamethasone
Dexamethasone Credit: melvil (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Researchers in the United Kingdom said they have the first evidence that a drug can improve Covid-19 survival.

The effect of dexamethasone was most striking among critically ill patients on ventilators. Those who were receiving oxygen therapy but were not on ventilators also saw improvement: their risk of dying was reduced by 20%.

Shortly after the results were released, the UK government announced that it had immediately authorised use of dexamethasone for patients hospitalised with Covid-19 who required oxygen, including those on ventilators.