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Even though the coronavirus vaccine has met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), Britons have reservations surrounding the jab.
The chief executive of BioNtech (the approved vaccine in the UK) Professor Uğur Şahin appeared on ITV’s Good Morning Britain (GMB) on Thursday, December 3.
“I would love to take the vaccine,” he told GMB presenters Ben Shephard and Charlotte Hawkins.
“At the moment, I’m not yet allowed to take the vaccine since the vaccine is not yet approved in Germany,” Professor Şahin explained.
Professor Şahin is a German physician and oncologist, who co-founded BioNTech in 2008.
He continued to say that at the “first stage” when he’s allowed to, he “will take the vaccine” and he’ll ensure his family does too.
At present, Germany’s roll-out of the vaccine is dependent on European regulatory approval.
However, “the provision could happen in December – only a few weeks to wait,” said Professor Şahin.
He added: “I hope other countries could get access to the vaccine as soon as possible.”
Dr Hilary chirped in: “The fact MHRA have approved this [vaccine] is good news.”
Joining a panel discussion later on in the programme was Dr Katrina Pollock and executive chairman of National Care Association Nadra Ahmed.
Dr Pollock ascertained that the MHRA have been “very thorough” and have done a “robust job”.
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“They’re not going to pass something for use unless they’re confident it’s safe,” she certified.
Dr Pollock explained “lots of red tape” had been lifted in order for the vaccine to speed ahead like it has.
“We should be very positive about this,” she added, saying we’re in “a pivotal moment”.
Accepting there may be some hesitancy in the beginning, Dr Pollock is confident as we move forward that more people will become more comfortable with the jab.
Speaking on behalf go the National Care Association, Nadra Ahmed this is a “huge moment to celebrate”.
“The challenge is how it’ll be deployed, gaining consent, and making families aware of the challenges we face,” she said.
Nadra continued: “People need to acknowledge the vaccine is here, it’s available, but it doesn’t mean we will have it by Christmas.”
She acknowledged it’s going to take a “measured approach” to work with logistical issues.
The NHS assured: “The UK has some of the highest safety standards in the world.”
It continued: “So far, thousands of people have been given a coronavirus vaccine and no serious side effects or complications have been reported.
“Any coronavirus vaccine that is approved must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through.”
The vaccine is expected to be offered to the following first:
- People who live in care homes and care home workers
- People aged 80 and over
- Health and social care workers in England
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