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Independent regulator confirms safety of Covid vaccines

26th Feb 2021
Independent regulator confirms safety of Covid vaccines

(Photo Credit: Torstensimon/Pixabay)

Hamed Chapman

The latest data published by the UK’s independent medicines regulator has this month confirmed that the country’s two approved vaccines meet strict regulatory standards for safety.

The vast majority of reported side effects from the Pfizer/BioNTech and the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccines “are mild and short-lasting, reflecting a normal immune response to vaccines, including a sore arm and fatigue,” the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) reported on February 5.

Routine safety monitoring and analysis show that “the safety of these vaccines remains as high as expected from the clinical trial data that supported the approvals.” The benefits “outweigh the risks,” MHRA said in the first of what will be regular Covid-19 vaccine safety reports.

The agency published what is called yellow card data for Covid-19 vaccines given between December 9, 2020, and January 24, 2021, which comprise 22, 820 reports from 7,164,387 first doses and 474,156-second doses.

The analysis showed a reporting rate of three suspected side-effects for every 1,000 doses of vaccine administered – with the issues reported being similar to those for the annual flu vaccine.These included sore arms and mild flu-like symptoms (such as headache, chills, fatigue and aching muscles) that are short-lived, reflecting the body’s normal immune response to vaccines.

“Vaccines are the most effective way to protect against Covid-19 and save lives and prevent serious complications from this terrible virus,” Dr June Raine, Chief Executive of the MHRA, said.

The side effects of vaccines are not different in the BAME communities, said Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed, Chair of the Expert Working Group of the Independent Commission on Human Medicines.

“During the clinical trial data, there was no difference in safety profile in different ethnic groups,” Sir Munir told The Muslim News during the launch of the MHRA report. The roll-out of the vaccine programme is being carried out by the NHS, unlike most other Government initiatives in multi-billion pound contracts largely given to private enterprises often without much if any experience.

In the first phase, initial jabs have been offered to up to15 million of the most vulnerable people – those aged 70 and over, care home residents, healthcare workers and people required to shield. Plans are to vaccinate millions of more people aged over 50 and other priority groups by spring.

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

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