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Fourth COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca in final stages of approval in US

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Posted at 9:53 PM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-22 21:53:15-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Right now, the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is in the final stages of approval here in the U.S.

The CDC says more than 81 million Americans have gotten at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. That's nearly 1/3 of all U.S. adults.

Pfzier, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are making it happen, and now a fourth vaccine, AstraZeneca, is in its final stages of testing.

"We need more vaccines so we can get shots in people’s arms so this is great," said Dr. Doug Ross, chief medical officer at AdventHealth in Tampa.

AstraZeneca says its vaccine is 79 percent effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 and 100 percent effective at preventing severe disease and hospitalization.

They also say their study found no serious side effects, including no increased risk of rare blood clots like those identified in Europe, a scare that led numerous countries to briefly stop vaccinations last week.

Dr. Ross the enormous amounts of each vaccine goes through proves the vaccines are safe and even people who were hesitant to get vaccinated at first are now getting the shot.

"When we’re talking about millions and millions of people getting the vaccines and we’re seeing minuscule amounts of side effects, this should allay people’s fears," said Dr. Ross.

These newest results pave the way for AstraZeneca to apply for an emergency use authorization from the FDA which could mean the vaccine will be going into arms here in the U.S. in the next month or two.