Expectation of COVID-19 immunization arrangement in UK by New Year: Report

Expectation of COVID-19 immunization arrangement in UK by New Year: Report


  • Post By : Kumar Jeetendra

  • Source: PTI

  • Date: 18 Oct,2020

One of the UK’s senior-most medical chiefs has indicated that a vaccine against COVID-19 could be ready to be deployed by the start of the New Year, according to a media report on Sunday.

In India, the vaccine has a Serum Institute of India tie-up since it undergoes trials.

“We are not light years away from it. It isn’t a completely unrealistic suggestion that we could deploy a vaccine soon after Christmas. That would have a significant effect on hospital admissions and deaths,” The Sunday Times’ quoted Van Tam as telling the MPs during a briefing last week. An MP who attended another briefing with Van-Tam told the newspaper that the medic was”very bullish about the third phase AstraZeneca results, which he anticipates between the end of the month and the end of next”.

“Van-Tam expects it to protect the elderly and vulnerable. He gave us to understand that it stopped the virus shedding’ in the young. He said he would expect vaccination to begin in January,” the MP was quoted as saying. It comes as the UK government introduced new laws on Friday that would allow larger numbers of healthcare workers to administer flu and potential COVID-19 vaccines.

“COVID-19 vaccines are being developed at speed which, if successful, will save lives,” stated Van-Tam, in reference to the new rules. “All vaccines must undergo three stages of clinical trials and be assessed for safety and efficacy by the regulator before they are given to patients. The measures outlined today aim to increase access and strengthen existing safeguards protecting patients, ” he said.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) stated that the new measures would increase access to vaccines against potentially killer diseases and also support the government’s strategies for the roll-out of a potential COVID-19 vaccine that’s proven to be safe and effective through robust clinical trials and approved for use by the regulator. “The National Health Service (NHS) has vast experience in vaccinating millions of people from diseases every year,” said UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock.

“These legal changes can help us in doing everything we can to make sure we are ready to roll out a secure and effective COVID-19 vaccine when it has passed clinical trials and undergone rigorous checks by the regulator,” he said. The aim is to increase the amount of fully trained and experienced healthcare professionals to administer COVID-19 and flu vaccines under NHS and local authority occupational health schemes, as well as enable an expanded workforce that can administer these vaccinations to the general public. This will make it easier and quicker for patients and health care workers to get the vaccines they need, protecting them from deadly diseases, the DHSC stated.

Consequently, if a vaccine is developed before 2021, the modifications to the Individual Medicine Regulations will bolster existing powers which enable the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to authorise temporary supply for any treatment or vaccine required to respond to a public health need. This means that if a vaccine has been found to meet with the safety, effectiveness and quality standards by the MHRA, then vaccinations can start without needing to wait for the European Medicines Agency who up until the end of the transition period on December 31 this year would have been the only body able to grant a licence.

Dr Christian Schneider, Interim Chief Scientific Officer at the MHRA, said:”No vaccine will be deployed unless stringent standards have been met through a comprehensive clinical trial programme. “The preferred route to enable deployment of any new vaccine remains through the typical product licensing processes.

Any population-wide roll-out is expected to be a much longer-term procedure.

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