The approval in December for the emergency use of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine by the MHRA provided another key milestone in the response to the pandemic.
With the COVID-19 vaccine now in wide use across the UK, Professor Alan Boyd reflects on the team’s involvement in this vital and ground-breaking project.
Professor Alan Boyd said, “We were contacted in March 2020 by colleagues at the University of Oxford asking for our involvement in a vaccine programme they were working on. We have long-standing links with the University of Oxford working on other projects and are known for our experience in advanced biological therapeutics and our regulatory expertise, as well as our work involving adenoviral vectors over many years.”
The Boyds team worked to support the early-stage regulatory interactions and manufacturing and as AstraZeneca got involved, and the project progressed, Boyds continued to provide regulatory support on the Environmental Risk Assessment needed that led to the final submission to the MHRA and other regulatory agencies around the world.
“This is a major achievement by the whole Oxford and AstraZeneca team. There were many parties involved and bringing together relevant expertise from different areas has been crucial to expediting the programme to approval.” He continues, “I am particularly proud that Boyds has been able to contribute to this project. The vaccine’s approval by the MHRA in the UK and in other countries has already resulted in the vaccination of millions of people, helping protect them against the COVID-19 infection. I hope that we see more and more countries approve this vaccine in the weeks and months ahead.”
To complete the circle, Alan has also returned to his clinical routes having volunteered to work again within the NHS to help contribute to the vaccination programme by giving his free time to join the vaccination effort.
“I am delighted to be able to contribute personally to the mass vaccination programme. Having been involved with the group in Oxford since the early days of COVID-19, it is an amazing feeling to now be involved in the vaccine’s administration to so many people,” concluded Alan.