Coronavirus: Vaccination

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 15 February 2024.

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Photo of Lord Strathcarron Lord Strathcarron Conservative

To ask His Majesty's Government, further to the answer by Lord Evans of Rainow on 11 January (HL Deb col 98), what assessment they have made of whether it is appropriate to describe COVID-19 vaccinations as “very safe” given that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency's Blue Guide, says that "advertising which states or implies that a product is 'safe' is unacceptable"; and whether they intend to publish the evidence base that supports the claim that the COVID-19 vaccinations are “very safe.”

Photo of Lord Markham Lord Markham The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

All vaccines used in the United Kingdom must be authorised by the UK’s independent medicines’ regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). Each COVID-19 vaccine is only authorised once it has met robust standards of effectiveness, safety, and quality. As with all vaccines and medicines, the safety of COVID-19 vaccines is continuously monitored, and the advice from the MHRA remains that the benefits of vaccination in preventing COVID-19 and serious complications associated with COVID-19 outweigh any currently known side effects in the majority of patients. Information on the characteristics of each vaccine is published by the MHRA on the GOV.UK website. The MHRA’s Blue Guide relates to the advertising and promotion of medicinal products, and in general, debates in Parliament about vaccination are considered to be outside its scope.

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