‘No corners cut’ to approve Pfizer vaccine for UK use, medicines regulator boss insists

Sophia Sleigh
·2-min read
 (Sky News)
(Sky News)

The boss of Britain’s medicines regulator today said “no corners have been cut” as she reassured the public that the world’s first approved coronavirus vaccine is safe.

Dr June Raine, from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, said strict tests had been complied with.

She made the comments during a briefing with scientists at Downing Street on Wednesday morning.

It comes a few hours after a major announcement that the independent MHRA had approved a vaccine.

Director general of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus confirmed the UK was the first country to authorise the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

Dr Raine, chief executive of the MHRA, said: “A really important point relates to the thorough work, scientifically rigorous, methodologically sound, that the agency has done.

“The way of working in a rolling review ensures that our teams of clinicians and scientists are working in parallel to complete all the work according to strict guidelines on safety, effectiveness and quality is complete.

“This vaccine has only been approved because those strict tests have been done and complied with. Everyone can be absolutely confident no corners whatsoever have been cut.”

It comes after Health Secretary Matt Hancock offered to get vaccinated live on television to help convince people of the jab’s safety.

He stressed the order of vaccination would be determined by clinical need but suggested if a televised jab would persuade people of its safety it would be "worth it".

Mr Hancock told Good Morning Britain that if it was possible and people felt it “reasonable” then: “I'm up for doing that because once the MHRA has approved a vaccine - they only do that if it is safe.

"And so, if that can help anybody else, persuade anybody else that they should take the vaccine then I think it's worth it."

He also described the news as “fantastic”, with 800,000 doses set to arrive next week.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week. The NHS has decades of experience in delivering large scale vaccination programmes and will begin putting their extensive preparations into action to provide care and support to all those eligible for vaccination.”

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