COVID vaccine UK: Did Brexit make it easier to approve a vaccine? | UK | News (Reports)


Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine has found its first use in the UK after the country approved national rollout. People have hailed the news as a local success, adding it proves the country remains a world-leader. But they have also claimed Brexit streamlined the process, but this is not the case.

Did Brexit make it easier to approve a COVID vaccine?

The vaccine announcement in the UK gave way to several claims from ministers Brexit was a key player in getting the country access first.

Replying to Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s announcement via Twitter, Jacob Rees-Mogg, leader of the House of Commons, said a change in regulations helped the process along.

He Tweeted: “We could only approve this vaccine so quickly because we have left the EU.”

READ MORE: Covid vaccine date: What day do vaccinations start?

Dr June Raine, the body’s chief executive said the MHRA used provisions afforded by European law.

She said: “We have been able to authorise the supply of this vaccine using provisions under European law which exist until January 1.

“Our speed, or our progress, has been totally dependent on the availability of data in our rolling review and the rigorous assessment and independent advice we have received.

“So I hope that clarifies the point about the European relationship.”

Law aside, the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was an international effort made in the US and Germany.

Pfizer is a multinational company based in America, and BioNTech is headquartered in Mainz, Rhineland-Palatinate.

Andreas Michaelis, German ambassador to the UK, replied to Business Secretary Alok Sharma on Twitter saying: “Why is it so difficult to recognize this important step forward as a great international effort and success.

“I really don’t think this is a national story. In spite of the German company BioNTech having made a crucial contribution, this is European and transatlantic.”

The UK only “led the way” in approving a vaccine by using an EU law which ministers could not access if they had already finalised Brexit in full.


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