Britain’s brilliant vaccine hits one billion dose milestone

A whopping one billion doses of the University of Oxford/AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine have been released, according to an announcement put out today by the world class research university and its Anglo-Swedish pharma giant partner.

“On behalf of my colleagues across Oxford I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to AstraZeneca for the extraordinary accomplishment of releasing one billion doses of our life saving vaccine” said Oxford Vice-Chancellor Louise Richardson.

“By distributing this vaccine at cost, they have made an admirable and exemplary contribution to global health. We are delighted to be in partnership with them.”

The brilliant British medicine was the backbone of the UK’s efficient vaccine roll-out in the early stages of the programme, vaccinating many of the most at-risk Brits with much of the manufacturing coming from within the United Kingdom.

It was a significantly lifeline for the country earlier this year when embittered EU bureaucrats, whose own vaccine procurement programme had been comparatively shambolic, attempted to use Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol to create a vaccine border on the island of Ireland and hoard jabs paid for by Britain.

Vaccine co-developer Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert chimed in on the excellent news too, saying: “We started to create this vaccine in January 2020 without knowing if it would ever be needed. To have reached one billion doses released only 18 months later is a phenomenal achievement on the part of AstraZeneca, who have co-ordinated manufacturing at multiple sites around the world to reach this milestone.

“It was made possible by many years of research at Oxford University in the production of the vaccine platform technology, developing a manufacturing process and conducting clinical trials with other ChAdOx1-vectored vaccines.”

The Director of the Oxford Vaccine Group Sir Andy Pollard said that there was “huge satisfaction and pride for the vaccine researchers, and the members of the public who took part in the trials, to have brought a billion doses of a life-saving vaccine to the world” as he paid tribute “to the superhuman efforts of the teams at AstraZeneca and Serum Institute of India who are producing a phenomenal number of doses 24 hours a day and getting them to vaccine clinics in more than 170 countries.”