Brexit Great Britain has just approved “a EUROPEAN vaccine”: the German minister attacks the United Kingdom | Politics | News


Jens Spahn rejected suggestions that the UK had benefited from a rapid approval process thanks to Brexit, and stressed that the vaccine developed by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech is a product made in Europe. His slapdown comes after Mr Hancock claimed the UK had been able to get a head start in the race for an approved vaccine and ‘not keep pace with the Europeans’ due to the fact that he was no longer a member of the bloc.

But Mr Spahn told reporters at an EU briefing on Wednesday that if Britain had been the first to approve the vaccine, he was optimistic the European Medicines Agency would follow suit soon.
He said: “But a few remarks on Brexit to my British friends – BioNtech is a European development, of the EU.

“The fact that this EU product is so good that Britain approved it so quickly shows that in this crisis European and international cooperation is the best.”

Mr Spahn said he was proud that a German company played a central role in the development of the COVID-19 jab.

Jens Spahn said Brexit played no role in UK approval of Pfizer vaccine (Image: GETTY)

Pfizer vaccine could be distributed in UK as early as next week (Image: GETTY)

He said EU member states could have issued similar emergency approvals, but Europe decided to be one.

Mr Spahn explained: “It is very important that we do this to help promote confidence in this authorization. ”

He stressed that he was not the only official angered by the British celebrating being the first to endorse a national triumph.

When UK Business Secretary Alok Sharma hailed the approval on Twitter as “the day the UK led humanity’s charge against disease,” the German ambassador to London sparked a irritable response.

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coronavirus vaccine

UK approved Pfizer vaccine, emerged on Wednesday (Image: GETTY)

Andreas Michaelis tweeted: “I really don’t think this is a national story.

“Although the German company BioNTech has made a crucial contribution, it is European and transatlantic. ”

On Wednesday, it emerged that the UK had approved Pfizer’s COVID vaccine, leading the rest of the world in the race to launch the most crucial mass inoculation program in history.

The UK Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has granted emergency use authorization for the vaccine developed by Pfizer and its German biotech partner BioNTech.

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coronavirus vaccine

Armed forces expected to play key role in COVID vaccine distribution (Image: GETTY)

Drugmakers have said their development is 95% effective in preventing the disease.

The approval came just 23 days after Pfizer released the first data from its end-stage clinical trial.

Ben Osborn, country director for Pfizer in the UK, said the UK Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) both received the same information.

Asked about a statement from the EMA suggesting it imposed stricter controls than the emergency process used by the MHRA, he said.


UK coronavirus map (Image: EXPRESS)

Mr Osborn said: “Conditional marketing authorization is a completely different regulatory process than emergency and pandemic authorization. ”

He added: “We have provided complete data packets – the unmasked data – to both regulators (EMA and MHRA).

“I think what you see is just the difference in the process and the underlying timelines, as opposed to any difference in the data submission. ”

Boris Johnson said approval of the vaccine by British medical authorities was a silver lining in the midst of the pandemic.

Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson says approval of Pfizer jab is great news for UK (Image: GETTY)

The UK has the highest death toll from COVID in Europe, with 59,051 people dying after testing positive.

There have been over 1.6 million cases of coronavirus recorded in the UK.

The Prime Minister told Parliament the approval was “fantastic news” for Britain, while warning people should not get carried away.

He added, “At this point, it’s very, very important that people don’t hope too early on how quickly we can deploy this vaccine. ”


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