Monday, 20 September 2021

Vaccine Approval

Jonathan Van Tam is furious about the British Novovax trial participants not being allowed to travel abroad because the Novavax vaccine has not yet received full MRHA approval. On the face of it, this is quite understandable. In response, JVT wants the government to withhold data from the EU to force their hand into accepting a double-jabbed Novavax trial participants.

JVT does have a point, as the data on efficacy has been published and shows Novavax to be effective at over 90%, but that's not the be all and end all of vaccine approval - there are side effects to be considered, which take time to manifest and thus delay approval. Side effects, however, affect only the trial participants and any adverse effects aren't transmitted to others.

Given we are in an emergency (although you wouldn't think so from the hordes of people not wearing masks in public spaces), one would think countries would come together to thrash out a protocol for such occasions. The question to which, however, I can find no answer is, what the UK government's protocol is for travel to the UK for participants in foreign communicable disease vaccine vaccine trials that haven't been fully approved domestically or internationally. If it's the same, then JVT is batting on a sticky wicket.

One trial participant was looking forward to a holiday in the US in January and was moaning he felt like a prisoner in his own country. I suggest he gets a life - many haven't travelled outside the UK in decades and yet don't feel like prisoners. In any case, MRHA approval is only 2 months away - well before his planned trip to the USA.

Once more to the matter of masks; a journalist interviewed maskless London Underground passengers to ascertain the reason they weren't wearing masks. As expected, they were so full of misinformation about exactly who is protected when you wear a mask, whether you can still contract Covid when double vaccinated, the efficacy of masks and many were taking their cue from the fact the Cabinet weren't wearing them. Mixed messaging is to blame. 

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