Responding to the decision by several European countries to halt the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine, BMA public health medicine committee co-chair Dr Penelope Toff said: “The vaccination programme here in the UK has been incredibly successful - with over 11 million doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccinations given and almost 25 million Covid vaccines in total - and is greatly contributing to protecting the health of the public and ensuring that life returns to normal as soon as possible.
“It’s important to note the views of our own regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, the World Health Organisation and the European Medicines Agency, who are still advocating that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is safe for use.
“Given the enormous lifesaving benefits of the vaccine we should be continuing to encourage people to get both first and second doses of the Astra-Zeneca and Pfizer jab.
"It is vital to retain perspective and acknowledge the dreadful death toll from this virus as well as the lives that have and will continue to be saved as a result of the vaccination programme.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a trade union and professional association representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.