The United Kingdom’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) on Friday confirmed it has received a request from the government’s Department of Health and Social Care to assess AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine.

AstraZeneca and its partner, the University of Oxford, have been facing criticism about their Covid-19 vaccine trial results after acknowledging a manufacturing error. Surprisingly, the group of volunteers that got a lower dose seemed to be much better protected than the volunteers who got two full doses of the vaccine.

MHRA’s CEO June Raine said that the regulatory body will “rigorously” assess the latest data and evidence to determine the vaccine’s safety, quality and effectiveness, before giving its approval for its roll-out.

“The safety of the public will always come first. Our role is to work to the highest standards and safety is our watch word”, Raine said, adding that the MHRA will also seek advice from the Commission on Human Medicines.

AstraZeneca CEO, Pascal Soriot, on Thursday said that the company was likely to run additional trials of its vaccine candidate to validate its efficacy.


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