Thank you for writing to me about Covid-19 vaccine safety, and for sharing with me your concerns. I have read your email carefully and noted the key points that you raise.
I was delighted by the news that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been approved for use in the UK. This really is a momentous occasion and, while there is still some way to go, it provides fresh hope that we can beat this pandemic.
The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has followed rigorous procedures to ensure that the vaccine meets the high standards needed to be considered both safe and effective. The MHRA is one of the most respected regulators in the world, and I welcome that the World Health Organisation (WHO) has commended the work of the MHRA and backed this approach.
Any coronavirus vaccine that is approved must go through rigorous clinical trials and safety checks. I am proud that the UK has some of the highest safety standards in the world. So far, thousands of people have been given a coronavirus vaccine and no serious side effects or complications have been reported.
It is important to note that the powers granted to the Government under the Coronavirus Act 2020 are made under and subject to the restrictions of the Control of Disease Act 1984. Under the 1984 Act, Ministers have the power to make regulations which prevent danger to public health and prevent the spread of infection, but these regulations do not include mandatory treatment or vaccination. As you say, the Government has also said explicitly that there will be no mandatory or compulsory vaccination for anyone at all.
I recognise that some people have concerns, and please be assured that I will continue to monitor the situation very closely.
Thank you again for writing to me.
With best wishes.
Jonathan Lord MP
Member of Parliament for Woking