One of the UK’s leading medical chiefs said a vaccine against COVID-19 could be used by the start of the new year, according to a media report on Sunday.
Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer and one of the government’s advisors on the coronavirus pandemic, has reportedly told Members of Parliament (MPs) that the vaccine made at Oxford University and made by AstraZeneca will be ready for use soon after Christmas could be in December.
In India, the vaccine is linked to the Serum Institute of India as it is currently being tested.
“We are not light years away from that. It is not a totally unrealistic suggestion that we could have a vaccine soon after Christmas. It would have a significant impact on hospital admissions and deaths,” Van Tam of the Sunday Times quoted Tell MPs during a recent briefing Week.
A MP who attended another briefing with Van-Tam told the newspaper the medic was “very optimistic about AstraZeneca’s third stage results, which he expects between the end of this month and the end of next month”.
“Van-Tam expects it to protect the elderly and the vulnerable. He gave us to understand that it has stopped the virus ‘shedding’ in young people. He said he would expect vaccination to start in January,” the MP was quoted as saying.
When the UK government enacted new laws on Friday that would allow greater numbers of healthcare workers to administer flu and potential COVID-19 vaccines.
“COVID-19 vaccines are being developed at a rate that will save lives if successful,” Van-Tam said of the new rules.
“All vaccines must go through three phases of clinical trials and are subject to regulatory approvals for safety and efficacy before being administered to patients. The measures outlined today are aimed at improving access and strengthening existing protections for patients,” said he.
The Department of Health and Welfare (DHSC) said the new measures would improve access to vaccines against potentially deadly diseases and also support the government’s plans for the launch of a potential COVID-19 vaccine that has been shown to be safe and effective has been approved through robust clinical studies and for regulatory use.
“The National Health Service (NHS) has extensive experience vaccinating millions of people against disease each year,” said UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
“These legislative changes will help us do everything we can to ensure that we are ready to introduce a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine once it has passed clinical trials and has undergone rigorous regulatory scrutiny,” he said .
The aim is to increase the number of fully trained and experienced health care professionals delivering COVID-19 and flu vaccines as part of NHS and community health and safety programs and to enable an expanded workforce to deliver these vaccines to the public. This will make it easier and faster for patients and health care workers to access the vaccines they need and protect them from deadly diseases, the DHSC said.
If a vaccine is developed before 2021, the changes to the rules for human medicine will strengthen the existing powers that allow the UK Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA) to approve the temporary supply of treatments or vaccines that are used to respond to the public Health are needed.
This means that once a vaccine has been determined to meet the MHRA’s safety, quality and efficacy standards, vaccinations can begin without having to wait for the European Medicines Agency, which will – until the end of the transition period on December 31st. December of this year – would have been the only body that could issue a license.
Dr. Christian Schneider, MHRA’s Interim Chief Scientific Officer, said: “No vaccine will be used unless strict standards have been met through a comprehensive clinical trial program.
“The preferred way to enable the use of a new vaccine remains with standard product licensing procedures. However, there are now reinforced safeguards to strengthen the regulatory system and our ability to protect public health should temporary approvals be required.”
The first vaccines are to be given to the elderly and vulnerable, followed by vaccinations to other most vulnerable people. Any population-wide roll-out is likely to be a much longer-term process.
(This story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)