The head of the regulator that approved the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine said that “no corners had been cut” in assessing it’s safety.
The UK has become the first country in the world to approve the vaccine, which will be made available “from next week”.
But Dr June Raine, head of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), said that while a rolling regulatory process had been conducted as the vaccine was developed, standards had always been maintained.
She told a Downing Street press conference: “That doesn’t mean that any corners have been cut, none at all.”
More than 1,000 pages of data had been examined, she said.
– Romilly Greenhill, UK Director at The ONE Campaign
“This is welcome news for people everywhere – which potentially marks the beginning of the end of the pandemic.
“But we will not properly protect people anywhere until we get vaccines everywhere. The epidemiology is straightforward – to be safe in our own towns and cities we need to ensure that people across the world are also being vaccinated.”
Prof Stephen Evans, Pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
“Today is a good .news day. However, we do have to acknowledge several key things that are not being said by everyone. We will not be able to change distancing, mask wearing etc for quite some time – months at least, and we don’t yet know when or whether that will stop.
“Making vaccination available is not enough; people need to be convinced so that they do accept being vaccinated.”
Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisations at Public Health England
“The recommendations from the JCVI and MHRA provide confidence that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has met the very high standards needed to roll out the vaccine. This is a big step forward in tackling the virus.
“This means it can be delivered to those most at-risk, to help prevent as many deaths from Covid-19 as possible. Once deployed, PHE will work alongside the MHRA to keep the safety and efficacy of the vaccine under constant review.”