Sat. May 8th, 2021
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UK regulators went on the offensive on Friday to beat back criticism that they rushed their authorization of a coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) vaccine, saying they rigorously analyzed data on safety and effectiveness in the shortest time possible without compromising the thoroughness of their review.

The comments from the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) came as a newspaper reported that the agency’s chief executive, Dr. June Raine, planned to give a series of radio interviews so she could speak directly to people who may be concerned about getting vaccinated.

The ability to act more quickly “does not mean steps and the expected standards of safety, quality and effectiveness have been bypassed,” the MHRA said. “No vaccine would be authorized for supply in the UK unless the expected standards of safety, quality and efficacy are met.”

The MHRA reiterated earlier statements that the agency is conducting rolling reviews of Covid-19 vaccine candidates, allowing regulators to speed up the review process by looking at data as it becomes available. The agency gave emergency approval on Wednesday to a vaccine produced by US drugmaker Pfizer and Germany-based BioNTech, making Britain the first Western country to authorize a vaccine against the coronavirus.The media blitz comes amid concerns that criticism of the approval process could undermine public confidence in the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, leading some individuals to shun vaccination. SOVEREIGNPH

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