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When the University of Oxford developed a vaccine that was effective against COVID-19, ensuring that it could be rolled out globally and in perpetuity for low- and middle-income countries was of paramount importance.

A vial of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine © John Cairns

The University believes that this has been – and continues to be – achieved through our partnership with AstraZeneca, with over 3 billion doses made available for use in 183 countries.

As a result of this commitment to ensuring global and equitable access, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine saved 6.3 million lives in the first year of the global vaccine rollout – the most out of all the vaccines in circulation at the time.

Airfinity, which conducted this analysis, further said that the vaccine may have saved the most lives before it first went to older age groups in high income countries and nations with less robust health care systems.

An expert review of data from 79 real-world studies lends further credence to the wide-ranging impact of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, revealing that it provided equally effective and high protection against hospitalisation and death as mRNA COVID-19 vaccines.

Development of the vaccine was an intricate and complex process – and covering every stage would take too long to outline here. However, one critically important stage was having a robust methodology in place to rapidly ramp up manufacturing capabilities.

As Dr Adam Ritchie, Senior Vaccine Programme Manager at the Jenner Institute, says:

‘One of the reasons for the impact of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was the focus on the whole vaccine development process from day one. We knew that during a pandemic you didn’t just need a vaccine that worked, but also a method for making billions of doses that could be shared with manufacturers around the world.

‘We started developing this method and the network to deliver it from February 2020, and AstraZeneca kept expanding that network from May 2020. The reason why this vaccine has saved so many lives can be found in the dozens of locations it was made and its use in more countries than any other.’

Read the full story on the University of Oxford website. 

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