Thank you for contacting me about Covid-19 vaccine safety.
I am delighted that we have safe and effective vaccines approved to help protect people from Covid-19. I am incredibly proud of the excellent progress made in rolling out the vaccine and booster doses.
I can assure you that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has followed rigorous procedures to ensure the vaccines meet the high standards needed to be considered both safe and effective. The MHRA is one of the most respected regulators in the world and I welcome that the World Health Organisation has commended the work of the MHRA and backed their approach.
Any coronavirus vaccine that is approved must go through rigorous clinical trials and safety checks. I am proud that the UK has some of the highest safety standards in the world. So far, millions of people have been given a Covid-19 vaccine and reports of serious side effects, such as allergic reactions, have been very rare. The MHRA continues to monitor potential side effects of all vaccines in the UK.
Routine safety monitoring and analysis of the approved Covid-19 vaccines by the MHRA shows that the safety of these vaccines remains as high as expected from the clinical trial data that supported the approvals. The safety profile of the vaccines remains positive and data has shown that the vast majority of reported side effects are mild and all are in line with most types of vaccine, including the seasonal flu vaccine.
I share your concerns over the misinformation being spread about the Covid vaccines. Let me be absolutely clear, vaccines are only deployed if they pass rigorous regulatory procedures to prove that they are safe and effective. Each of Covid vaccine candidate is assessed by a team of scientists and clinicians on a case-by-case basis, and it is only once a potential vaccine has met robust standards of effectiveness, safety and quality that it is approved for use. That is the case for all medicines, not just Covid vaccines. Extensive data shows that the vaccine is safe and highly effective in reducing the deaths that we sadly saw during the pandemic. That does not end when the vaccine is approved; surveillance of vaccines continues, as it does with any medicine, and any adverse reaction is recorded on a regular basis. That does not stop following approval.
Andrew Bridgen’s spread of misinformation about the Covid-19 vaccines is deeply offensive. As a nation we should be very proud of what has been achieved through the vaccine programme. The vaccine is the best defence against Covid that we have. Misinformation about the vaccine causes harm and costs lives. Andrew Bridgen has had the Whip removed with immediate effect, pending a formal investigation.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.