British medical regulator fast tracks vaccines for COVID variants

Britain’s medical regulator says it will fast track vaccines which have been modified to tackle new variants of COVID-19 to make them to the public more quickly.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced this Thursday when it joined forces with in Australia, Canada, Singapore and Switzerland to give new guidance for already approved vaccines and any changes the developers make.

In of the rising number of Coronavirus variants and fears vaccines will not be able to protect people against them, the MHRA and the ACCESS group (which made up of the nations above), said vaccine manufacturers producing tweaked vaccines need to  robust evidence the new jabs an immune response to be approved.

Data from original clinical trials, real-world evidence from vaccine rollout and the number of antibodies in people’s blood samples also be used.

But clinical studies that not add to the regulatory understanding of a vaccine’s safety, quality or effectiveness not be needed, the MHRA said.

“Our to get effective vaccines to the public in as short a time as possible, without compromising safety,’’ MHRA Scientific Officer, Dr Christian Schneider, said.

“Should any modifications to authorised COVID-19 vaccines be necessary, this regulatory approach should help to just that.’’

In Britain, the Pfizer/BioNTech, Astrazeneca/Oxford and Moderna vaccines have all been approved for use so far. (dpa/NAN)