Midwives, physios and pharmacists to administer possible UK Covid vaccine | World news

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Midwives, physiotherapists, pharmacists and student nurses and doctors are among those who will be authorised to administer a mass Covid-19 vaccine under new laws which come into force today.

They follow a consultation on moves to give emergency approval for a vaccine’s use across the UK and an expanded workforce which will be trained to give the injections to immunise as much of the population as possible quickly.

An expanded workforce will undergo what the government described today as a “robust training programme” after changes to the Human Medicines Regulations 2012 came into force Friday.

“These legal changes will help us in doing everything we can to make sure we are ready to roll out a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine as soon as it has passed clinical trials and undergone rigorous checks by the regulator,” said the health secretary Matt Hancock.

A government response following a three week consultation, which received 191,740 completed responses, gave a commitment to a formal review of the new regulations allowing the use of unlicensed medicines or vaccines within a year of any first use.

A number of amendments to the regulations include one that would extend the current immunity from civil liability to companies producing the vaccine, rather than just healthcare workers and manufacturers. This would protect them from legal liability in civil cases “but does not give them blanket immunity from civil liability,” according to the government.

The government stated that several responses had expressed concerns that the proposals outlined in the consultation document would make vaccines mandatory or push through an untested vaccine.

The proposals “do not create powers to make receiving a Covid-19 vaccine mandatory for the UK population,” said the government response, which added that the proposals “do not create powers to rollout an untested vaccine for the UK population.”

It noted that other respondents had taken the opportunity to express concerns about existing regulations enabling the temporarily authorisation of the supply of an unlicensed vaccine in response to a public health emergency. Any authorisation using the regulations would be short term, kept under review and would automatically cease when the product is granted a full licence.

While health professionals such as physiotherapists and occupational therapists who have not previously been involved in large scale vaccination programmes are expected to be deployed, Hancock’s department said that decisions would be taken by devolved administrations and authorities around the UK.

“For example, one UK nation might want to train student nurses and doctors to administer Covid-19 vaccines or flu vaccines whereas another UK nation may not choose that route,” the government response added.

Healthcare professionals such as occupational therapists were among those recently asked if they wanted to be involved in the distribution of this year’s winter flu vaccine, in what appeared to be preparations to involve those sectors in the roll-out of a Covid-19 vaccine.

Discussions between health authorities and professional medical associations are continuing about who will administer the Covid-19 vaccine, and the creation of a new national protocol will set out who can operate under it and training requirements.

The changes to regulations will bolster existing powers that enable the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), If a vaccine is developed before 2021.

Hafta Ichi
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Midwives, physios and pharmacists to administer possible UK Covid vaccine | World news

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