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AstraZeneca: Oxford-AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine helps Britain lead the competition to reach nursing homes

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By Joanna Sugden

The London-Coronavirus, like the United States, defeated British nursing homes and killed tens of thousands. Now the UK wants it to turn the tide, thanks to homemade vaccines that have not yet been approved elsewhere in the west.

More than 4 million people at risk in the UK, almost 8% of the adult population, have been vaccinated at least once.

It contains more than half of the weakest groups. It is 300,000 elderly people in a care facility who cannot travel to take pictures. The key to reaching them was the shot-armed mobile vaccination team developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca PLC.

This shot, along with a network of family doctors and vaccination hubs in sports centers, hotels and cathedrals, is on track for the goal of vaccination of the 15 million most vulnerable people by mid-February. It was useful.

According to the government, the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is also approved in some countries in India, Morocco and Latin America, has revolutionized the reach of people hiding in small nursing homes.

Doctors state that delivery is more efficient because it does not need to be diluted and patients after injection do not require monitoring of anaphylaxis. Both steps are time-constrained when administering other vaccines available in the UK manufactured by Pfizer and BioNTech SE.

Shots of AstraZeneca can be stored for 6 months at 2-8 degrees Celsius, the normal refrigerator temperature. This means you can move it several times and use it in very small batches. Pfizer Shots, which are also licensed in the US and Europe, are shipped in bulk and must be stored at minus 70. It should be used 3 and a half days after thawing.

Helen Salisbury, a local doctor in Oxford, vaccinated some of her elderly home-based patients with the AstraZeneca vaccine on January 15. “It’s much easier to carry and you can carry it from house to house,” said Dr. Salisbury. “I rode a bicycle.”

According to a letter sent to all GPs in the UK on January 13, its diversity means that the supply of AstraZeneca shots is prioritized over nursing homes, cash to give residents the first dose. We also provided incentives.

Prior to the arrival of AstraZeneca, photographed in early January, the government’s vaccine delivery plan shows that 50 Pfizer vaccines can be effectively accessed even after being given permission to divide the 975 dose box. It was just a big nursing home over the floor. Small 75 dose tray. The plan says that small residential facilities, including facilities with less than 25 beds, are currently vaccinated.

On Monday, Scottish Chief Medical Officer Greger Smith shows that just 20 vaccinations in nursing homes can save lives compared to 600 vaccinations for people over the age of 70 in the community. Pointed out the research. Dr. Smith said he “is spending enough time” prioritizing people in long-term care facilities at the forefront of vaccination campaigns.

Woodabbatta, manager of the Langley Haven Dementia Care Home in Slough, West London, made his first Pfizer shot in mid-December and his second Pfizer shot last week. However, residents had to wait until January 14th for the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“It would have been difficult to get the Pfizer vaccine to the nursing home,” Mr. Batter told him the doctor told him.

Currently, there is one thing that is blocking them. It is a shortage of both vaccines. Inoculation of AstraZeneca is at a disadvantage here.

Unlike the new gene-based technology used in the Pfizer vaccine and Moderna Inc.’s technology, which is licensed for use in the United Kingdom but will not be supplied until spring, AstraZeneca shots traditionally use weakened foam. Depends on the production of vaccines for the cold virus known as adenovirus. This makes it grow slower than the mRNA vaccine, even if it is easy to administer.

Moderna vaccines have less stringent shipping and storage requirements than Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, but are still more restrictive than AstraZeneca vaccines, requiring vaccines to be kept at minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit or refrigerated for up to 30 days after thawing. there is.

Shots of AstraZeneca have been available in the UK since January 4, and the company states that it had given 1.1 million doses as of January 13. In the near future, we plan to administer 2 million doses a week and ship 100 million doses. Nationwide by the end of this year.

The government has the infrastructure and vaccinations needed to administer such doses, stating that “the speed limiting factor is the supply of vaccines.”

AstraZeneca states that it is not possible to accelerate certain steps in the three- to four-month process of producing a vaccine. It takes 58-60 days for the virus to grow the cells it needs to replicate internally, and then to prepare the vaccine through a process called filling and finishing before packaging and releasing in batches. It will take another 28 days. Approximately 60 quality tests are performed during the process and each batch is tested by UK drug regulators before being approved for clinical use.

This is where new vaccines based on mRNA technology such as Pfizer and Moderna have an advantage. Their manufacturing process is much faster. It takes about 2 hours to make RNA. It then needs to be purified, formulated, and encapsulated in lipid nanoparticles before being placed in a vial for testing.

“It takes a total of about two days to make the active ingredient RNA drug substance,” said Zoltan Kis, a research associate at the Future Vaccine Manufacturing Hub at Imperial College London. After that, he added, the quality test would take about two weeks.

UK Health Minister Matt Hancock said on Monday that the government is more than halfway towards the goal of providing first shots to all residents of more than 10,000 nursing homes for seniors in the UK by the end of this month. It was.

According to Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon, more than 80% of people living in nursing homes and 55% of those who care for them are vaccinated for the first time in Scotland.

Nursing homes are not yet outside the forest. The number of deaths from Covid-19, a UK nursing home resident, began to increase again at the end of last year and continued to increase earlier this year after the relatively low number of deaths from summer to autumn.

Five of Langley Haven’s inhabitants died in Covid-19 in April during the first wave of the pandemic. The house, which treats 30 residents, had no other cases until last week when five residents and staff members were tested positive for the virus, Batter said.

“It’s a big relief [to have the vaccine] But we still don’t know how infectious the person with the shot is, “he adds. “So we have to be careful.”

Vaccine trials did not determine whether vaccination against Covid-19 symptoms prevented patients from transmitting the disease-causing virus. Scientists are studying people who have been vaccinated in the last few weeks to determine if Shot affects the infection.

Last week, Covid-19 occurred at Scotland’s first nursing home. In December, residents were vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

“There is a myth that vaccinations can make you a Superman or Wonder Woman,” said Donald Macaskill, CEO of Scottish Care, a leading group of nursing homes. “Our hope is that these cases will become less and less common over time and a vaccinated population base.”

-James Hookway of Edinburgh contributed to this article.

Write a letter to Joanna Sugden at [email protected]

(End) Dow Jones News Wire

01-20-21 0544ET

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