Infectious Diseases Expert Dr. Anthony Fauci

UK ‘rushed’ Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine approval ─Anthony Fauci

*Renowned infectious diseases scientist (Dr.) Anthony Fauci’s comments have prompted some skepticism among Britain’s European neighbours and suggestions that the virus vaccine approval process was politicised

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

While the world community is yet commending the United Kingdom (UK) for becoming the first Western country to approve a vaccine for immunisation against the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic ahead of the United States (US) and European Union (EU), Dr. Anthony Fauci, a foremost American infectious diseases (ID) scientist, has criticised Britain Thursday, December 3, 2020, for rushing through its approval process for the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid vaccine, suggesting the move could undermine public faith.

Fauci’s comments came just a day after the UK became the first Western country to approve a COVID-19 vaccine for general use.

His has prompted some skepticism among the country’s European neighbours and suggestions that the process was politicised, agency report said.

Widely-respected Fauci, who leads the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CBS News Thursday that “in all fairness to so many of my UK friends, you know, they kind of ran around the corner of the marathon and joined it in the last mile.

“I think that would be a good metaphor for it… because they really rushed through that approval.”

The expert also contrasted Britain’s regulator with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the latter which he called “the gold standard of regulation.”

He stated: “They’re doing it in a very careful way, appropriately, because if we did anything that was cutting corners and rushing, we have enough problem(s) with people being skeptical about taking a vaccine anyway.

“If we had jumped over the hurdle here quickly and inappropriately to gain an extra week or a week and a half, I think that the credibility of our regulatory process would have been damaged.”

However, Fauci said: “I love the Brits,” and he noted that he has respect for the country’s scientists.

He added: “But they just took the data from the Pfizer company and instead of scrutinising it really, really carefully, they said, ‘OK, let’s approve it. That’s it,’ and they went with it.

“In fact, they were even rather severely criticised by their European Union counterparts who were saying, you know, ‘That was kind of a hot dog play.’”

Meanwhile, British Ministers claimed Brexit had allowed them to adopt the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine ahead of their neighbours, who are still awaiting a greenlight from the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Britain is still under EU drug marketing rules until December 31, the end of a post-Brexit transition period, but has approved the vaccine under an emergency provision in European law.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn, when addressing a videoconference of his EU colleagues Wednesday also said: “The idea is not to be first, but to have a safe and efficient vaccine.

“It is a matter of expertise, obviously, authorisation. But as we’ve seen from comments from the UK, it’s also a political issue for the European Union.”

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