Britain is planning to amend its regulations to allow any successful coronavirus vaccine to be used in emergency situations until it is fully approved-but only if the shots meet the requisite safety and quality requirements. In a statement Friday, the Conservative government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it introduced “reinforced safeguards” to enable the regulatory agency of the country’s medicines to grant temporary authorization for a COVID-19 vaccine, provided it meets safety and quality requirements.
Officials said they would also raise the number of health professionals who can administer vaccines and explain the kind of civil liability protection for this increased workforce. The Government is starting a consultation period of three weeks to obtain recommendations from health experts and other stakeholders. It said it could implement the steps as early as October.
Britain has reported more than 41,500 COVID-19 deaths, the worst toll of any European country, and in recent weeks, its daily case count has steadily increased. During the last week, new infections averaged around 1,000 a day. It was around 5,000 cases a day at the height of the outbreak of Britain, but experts believe it may have been much higher because of insufficient monitoring.