MEXICO CITY (January, 4th, 2020) – Mexico’s health regulator Cofepris has approved the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Monday.
“The emergency approval of the AstraZeneca vaccine by Cofepris is very good news,” Ebrard wrote on Twitter. “With this, production will start soon in Mexico.”
AstraZeneca and Oxford University have been working on an adenovirus-based vaccine, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. The vaccine uses a modified adenovirus—the virus that causes the common cold—that contains genetic material from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The recombinant adenoviral vector vaccine was developed quickly since this vaccine technology has been around for decades.
Oxford had been studying adenovirus-based vaccines for a number of other diseases like the Zika virus when COVID-19 emerged. Researchers adapted a weakened chimpanzee adenovirus to develop the vaccine, and phase 1 trial began in April 2020, with more than 1,000 vaccinations given in the United Kingdom.
The phase 3 trial results were published in early December, and investigated how well the vaccine worked in nearly 24,000 people over the age of 18 across four trial groups in the United Kingdom, Brazil, and South Africa. There has been some controversy surrounding this vaccine, with dosing discrepancies in some study groups, and a move by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to pause the trial because of unexplained illness.
There are not any hearings scheduled yet on an emergency use authorization by the FDA, and the U.S. clinical trial is scheduled to last until September 2021.