London/Sputnik: UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) chief executive, June Raine, said on Wednesday that any potential COVID-19 vaccine must meet the highest standards before it is rolled out in the United Kingdom.
"The public can be confident that all those tests will be done at the highest standards," Raine said at a new weekly COVID-19 briefing led by England Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jonathan Van Tam.
After assuring that all the data of the vaccine will be reviewed, she said that once the vaccine is deployed, it will be continuously monitored by the MHRA.
"In a nutshell, our job is to work at the highest possible standards to work independently, and safety is our watchword," Raine stressed.
UK Health Minister Matt Hancock said on Tuesday that the National Health Service has been asked to prepare for the rollout of vaccines against COVID-19 from December.
Hancock´s announcement came after US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German firm BioNTech on Monday published the interim results of clinical trials conducted on their vaccine against COVID-19, claiming that their vaccine candidate has been 90 percent effective in preventing people from contracting the disease within 28 days of inoculation.
Van Tam confirmed that the UK has an agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech to buy 40 million vaccines which will cover two doses for 20 million people, but he said that the timescales are still being worked on.
Wei Shen Lim, chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, said that care home residents and staff, individuals from age 65 and above and adults who have underlying health conditions will be prioritized when the vaccine is rolled out.
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