The European Medicines Agency said Tuesday that AstraZeneca and Oxford University have submitted an application for their COVID-19 vaccine to be licensed across the European Union.
The Czech Republic is therefore expecting the delivery of 200,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in February, and 3 million by the end of the year.
“Thanks to the easier handling and storage, vaccination will become more accessible. It is another step so that we can return to normal life,“ said State Institute for Drug Control (SÚKL) director Irena Storová.
The EMA, 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.
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to be a key vaccine 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.
From January 15, people of 80 years and older will be able to register themselves for COVID-19 vaccination, for the rest of the Czech population, it will open from February 1.
The number of deaths related to COVID-19 rose by 213 on Monday, including 66 reported on that day and revisions to previous days.
The death toll since the pandemic started stands at 13,485. The country has had one of the highest per-capita death rates in Europe in the past two weeks.
The number of infections rose by 9,294 on Monday, down from nearly 13,000 a week earlier, to bring the total tally to 844,799.
There are 154,721 active cases, according to the health ministry’s data. Hospitalizations stand at 7,132.