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This new COVID-19 vaccine is a ‘ray of hope,’ expert says. But the U.S. might not get it until April

Experts approve the new COVID-19 vaccine in the United Kingdom. But the U.S. might not get it until the spring.

In this undated file photo issued by the University of Oxford, a volunteer is administered the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England.
In this undated file photo issued by the University of Oxford, a volunteer is administered the coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England.
John Cairns, University of Oxford via Associated Press

The United Kingdom has a “ray of hope” because of the new Oxford University/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, an expert recently told CNN.

Lawrence Young, a virologist and professor of molecular oncology at the University of Warwick, told CNN the vaccine offers a “ray of hope” as the virus continues to spread across Europe.

Context

The United Kingdom became the first country to approve the COVID-19 vaccine from the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca on Wednesday, as I wrote about for the Deseret News.

  • The new vaccine is “a cheap and easy-to-store shot that much of the world will rely on to help end the pandemic,” according to The New York Times.

So what about the United States?

The United States likely won’t receive the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine before April due to questions about its effectiveness, said Moncef Slaoui, head of Operation Warp Speed, according to Politico.

  • The worry specifically surrounds how the vaccine will impact at-risk groups.
  • “We project, if everything goes well, that the readout and emergency use authorization may be granted somewhere early in the month of April,” Slaoui said Wednesday, per Politico.
  • “As far as the American people are concerned, I think it’s important to say one vaccine has 95 percent efficacy, another vaccine has X percent, whatever that number,” Slaoui said. “We need a clear and concrete number more than a number that is accumulated by adding together different trials with different schedules and different materials.”