Dr Anthony Fauci – who has previously shown opposition to the AstraZeneca jab – admitted it may be a good vaccine if the issues in Europe are “straightened out”. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that approves drugs in the US are yet to green-light the coronavirus jab as they closely monitor Europe, where countries have paused their rollout due to blood clot risks. But Dr Fauci explained it may be too late for the AstraZeneca vaccine to be needed since the US has established contracts with many companies due to the slow AZ rollout.
Speaking on Radio 4, Dr Fauci said: “I think that the AstraZeneca vaccine from the standpoint of efficacy is a good vaccine.
“And if the safety issue gets straightened out in the European Union which I understand there is still a bit of controversy about how to use it and when to use it and what age to use it.
“If that gets straightened out the efficacy of that vaccine is really quite good.
“The way the United States has made contractual relationships with a number of countries – we clearly have enough vaccine or will get enough vaccine that does not include AstraZeneca.
“That would be enough quantitatively to vaccinate everybody in the United States.
“Whether or not we ever use AZ is unclear but it looks right now at this point in time that we will not need it.
“It’s not a negative indictment of AZ it is just possible that given the supply that we have from other companies that we may not need to use an AZ vaccine.”
The FDA have yet to approve the AstraZeneca vaccine in the US as they are waiting on more long-term data for the dose.
The UK’s four tests were met earlier this month meaning lockdown restrictions could be lifted for April 12.
Outdoor hospitality and non-essential shops have been allowed to reopen as nearly all of the most clinically vulnerable people in the UK have been offered a vaccine.
Minister have now met their target early of offering doses to the top nine priority groups which was due to be achieved on April 15.
Around 32 million people have been vaccinated in the UK with 7.2 million people receiving both injections.