03/12/2020

Vaccine News Allows Us To 'Look To The Future With Optimism And Patience'

Vaccines have saved millions of lives and changed our world, so the news of the UK's first regulatory approval for a Covid-19 vaccine is hugely significant, Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride and Chief Scientific Advisor Professor Ian Young have said.

McBride and Young have published a joint statement, addressing potential concerns over the newly approved Covid-19 vaccine.

They write: "The decision by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has only been taken after rigorous assessment of both safety and effectiveness.

"The decision on the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine was made with advice from the Commission on Human Medicines (CHM), the government's independent expert scientific advisory body.

"As the MHRA has emphasised strongly, public safety has always been the overriding priority.

"It is important to stress that the MHRA is globally recognised for requiring high standards of safety, quality and effectiveness for any vaccine.
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"The pace at which Covid-19 vaccines have been developed is unprecedented. That's a reflection of the global emergency which the virus caused – and the scale of the response from scientists, supported by massive public and private investment.

"The vaccine programme will take time and we will all have to wait our turn, as priority groups are given their place.

As we do so, we must all redouble our efforts against the spread of the virus. Please keep following public health advice – this is just as essential now as it was when we first heard the word Coronavirus.

2020 has been an incredibly difficult year and the first half of 2021 will require more sacrifice and more disruption to our daily lives.

"We can get through this if we all keep doing the right thing – to look after each other and protect the health service.

"Better times are ahead – let's get there together."

The full statement can be read here.

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