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30th December 2020

Oxford Vaccine approved in the UK

Second vaccine against Covid-19 approved in the UK.

The Oxford/Astra Zeneca vaccine has been approved for use in the UK and vaccinations will start on 4th January 2021.

Full details are on the BBC website. Here’s the summary:

• The UK approves the vaccine developed by the University of Oxford and manufactured by AstraZeneca
• It is considered a game-changer as it does not have to be stored at very low temperatures
• The first immunisations of the jab will start on 4 January, says the UK’s health secretary, Matt Hancock.
• It is the second vaccine to be deemed safe in the UK, following the Pfizer-BioNTech roll-out earlier in December.
• The news comes the day after the UK announced another 53,135 cases of Covid-19 – a record daily figure.

The Health Minister is reported as saying “We’re going to be able to inject a lot of people with one dose very quickly and provide them with a reasonably good level of protection until they get the second dose two to three months later.”

This is a significant policy change from the Pfizer vaccine as a single dose of the Oxford vaccine will be given to as many people as possible initially, with the second dose followed up several months later. This will enable a much larger section of the population to be protected more quickly.

Our view is that all CLL patients, their families and close associates should have the vaccine when offered. It may not give full protection to CLL patients, but it is likely to at least provide some protection.

Exceptions: Those with a significant history of allergic reactions to a vaccine, medicine or food, and those undergoing chemotherapy should seek specific medical advice prior to receiving the vaccination.