Several weeks of thorough testing better than a hasty start of vaccination / Crisis management in the UK one of the worst in the world


"I consider this decision to be problematic and recommend that EU Member States do not repeat the process in the same way. A few weeks of thorough examination by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is better than a hasty emergency marketing authorisation of a vaccine". This was stated by MEP Peter Liese, health policy spokesman of the largest political group in the European Parliament (EPP Christian Democrats) with regards to the emergency authorisation granted for the corona vaccine from Biontech/Pfizer in the UK. Liese stressed that the decision had nothing to do with Brexit.

Under the European rules to which the UK is still bound to until the end of the year, all EU Member States have the possibility to grant national emergency authorisation in certain cases. “Other member states are not following the UK example because they believe that careful consideration by the European Medicines Agency will give people additional security. The information of the last weeks was mainly based on press releases and much of the data has only been available for the authorities for a few hours now. However, with such a large-scale vaccination campaign, it is important to look closely and carefully check the information provided by the companies.

I have confidence in Biontech, but "Confidence is good, control is better". Emergency authorisation is a tool normally intended for patients who suffer from a serious and incurable disease and where there is no other means of saving life or physical integrity. This is not the case with corona. Although the restrictions are very burdensome for all of us, I believe it is right to still keep distance and wear a mask for a little longer now, rather than irresponsibly speed up the authorisation. If the European Medicines Agency concludes in the course of this month that the vaccination is safe, I will recommend that everyone will be vaccinated. As long as this is not the case, one should be careful," said the doctor and MEP.

The UK's decision is also an attempt to distract attention from the failure of Boris Johnson's government in the Corona crisis, according to Mr Liese. "Britain now has nearly 60,000 corona deaths. Add to this the fact that Britain is an island and has never been a Schengen member, which means open borders in Europe. Britain would have to compare itself more with countries like New Zealand or Ireland, which have a much better grip on the infection rate," Liese concludes.

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