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UK

Approval of Oxford/AstraZeneca COVID shot could help relax COVID restrictions, minister says

FILE PHOTO: AstraZeneca's logo is reflected in a drop on a syringe needle in this illustration taken November 9, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

LONDON (Reuters) - British regulatory approval of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca could accelerate the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, cabinet office minister Michael Gove said on Monday.

Gove said that the independent regulator had to assess the vaccine, but if it was approved there would be a “significant increase” in vaccine available. Britain is already rolling out a vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech .

“If we do get the authorization for that vaccine, and the rollout goes according to plan, then we will be able to progressively lift some of the restrictions, which have made life so difficult for so many,” he told Sky News.

(This story corrects vaccine maker in paragraph 2)

Reporting by Alistair Smout, editing by Louise Heavens

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