The European Medicines Agency says Astrazeneca and oxford university have submitted an application for their covid-19 vaccine to be licensed across the 27-nation European Union.
The EU regulator says the request could be approved by the end of the month.
The drugs agency for the 27-nation EU has already approved two other coronavirus vaccines, one made by American Drugmaker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech, and another made by U.S. Biotechnology company Moderna.
Switzerland approved the Moderna vaccine on Tuesday and plans to immunize about four percent of its population using Moderna and the Pfizer-bioNTech shots.
The EU says it had concluded early talks with French biotech company Valneva to secure up to 60 million vaccine doses.
The Oxford-Astrazeneca vaccine is expected to be key for many countries because of its low cost, availability and ease of use. It can be kept in refrigerators rather than the ultra-cold storage that the Pfizer vaccine requires.
COVID-19: Nigeria Records More Deaths, 1,303 New Infections
Nigeria has recorded more than thirteen hundred new cases of the coronavirus, and fifteen more deaths, on Tuesday.
The Nigeria Center for Disease Control says nine hundred seventeen patients had recovered and were discharged during the same 24-hour period.
The new cases were confirmed in twenty-five states and the Federal Capital Territory. Lagos bore the brunt of the cases with eighty-three infections. Rivers recorded seventy-two.
Nigeria’s total tally is now one case shy of twenty-five thousand. Death rate stands at fifteen hundred twenty-two.
Global Number Of COVID Cases Surpasses 100 Million
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide has passed 100 million in just over a year since the first cases of the then ‘mysterious’ new illness were reported in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
More than 2.1 million persons around the world have died from COVID-19, and more than 55 million persons have recovered from the disease.
During the past 12 months, the pandemic has forced governments to order shutdowns, curfews, travel bans and other public health restrictions to try and stem the spread of infections. Economies have been hard hit and inequalities of all types have been exacerbated.
The United States with the highest number of cases and fatalities globally has recorded 5.3 million cases – approximately one-quarter of the global total and more than 424,000 deaths.
With 217,000 fatalities, Brazil has the second-highest death toll and has confirmed more than 8.8 million cases.
India has confirmed the second-highest total number of cases in the world, with more than 10.6 million infections reported. More than 153,000 persons have died from the virus there.
Morocco Begins Rolling Out COVID-19 Vaccinations
After Egypt, Morocco is set to become the latest country in Africa to roll out a vaccination programme against COVID-19 giving priority to frontline medical staff.
The country has received two million doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, and is expected to take delivery of half a million doses from China’s Sinopharm on Wednesday.
Morocco was hit hard last year when it recorded a higher number of cases compared to its neighbours
Tunisia has pushed back its vaccination campaign to April, while Algeria expects to acquire a batch of Russia’s Sputnik V vacc Oxford/AstraZeneca ine by the end of this month.