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New COVID-19 Vaccine

OPERATION VACCINATION A nurse prepares a dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. It was approved for use in the U.K. on December 30. MATTHEW HORWOOD—GETTY IMAGES

A new COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for the United Kingdom (U.K.) and other countries. It's a step toward containing the spread of the disease worldwide.

The vaccine was developed by the University of Oxford and the drug company AstraZeneca. It's cheaper than other COVID-19 vaccines. Governments can buy it for a fraction of what those cost. It's also easier to transport and store. The Moderna and Pfizer vaccines must be kept frozen. This one can be stored longer in a normal fridge.

Helen Fletcher is a professor of immunology in London. She calls the vaccine's approval "a turning point for the pandemic," as it was "developed to have global impact that includes people living in the . . . poorest regions of the world." Its makers hope to have enough for up to 20% of the world's population in 2021.