Dr Anthony Fauci launched a blistering and bitter attack on Britain tonight over its world-leading approval of a coronavirus vaccine to treat millions of people this Thursday (3).
Donald Trump’s top medic accused the UK drug regulator of failing to adequately scrutinize data from manufacturers before becoming the first country to clear the Pfizer/BioNTech jab for widespread use.
They raised safety questions over the speed at which the MHRA acted to approve the treatment, with Dr Fauci telling CBS News: ‘I love the Brits, they’re great, they’re good scientists, but they just took the data from the Pfizer company and instead of scrutinizing it really, really carefully, they said: ”OK, let’s approve it, that’s it.” And they went with it’.
In another interview with Sky News, he suggested that rushing the approval process could feed into existing ‘vaccine scepticism’.
The epidemiologist said: ‘We want to put it through the process, that’s the standard process. We’re hurrying it up a bit but not nearly as quickly as you did in the UK, which we believe if we had done that here in the US, it would have been to our disadvantage because it would have generated a lot of scepticsm about the speed with which it was approved.’
The MRHA pushed back strongly today, with a spokesman saying it ‘rigorously assessed the data in the shortest time possible, without compromising the thoroughness of our review’.
In response European Commission spokesman Eric Mamer said ‘we are definitely not in the game of comparing regulators across countries’, adding: ‘This is not a football competition, we are talking about the life and health of people.’
Hopes of a worldwide vaccine roll out were dealt a blow tonight as it emerged Pfizer will only be able to ship half as many doses of its coronavirus vaccine as it promised by the end of the year, cutting its planned global rollout from 100 million to 50 million doses.