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ABPI reacts to new vital vaccination report

A new HSCC document deems the UK’s vaccination position to be at risk.

The Health and Social Care Select Committee has published the broad results of its inquiry into global vaccinations.

The report, entitled Prevention in health and social care: vaccination, notes that the UK’s world-leading role in vaccination is in jeopardy due to a number of ongoing factors.

Indeed, the document insists that without urgent action to address challenges around the general uptake of vaccines and wider bureaucratic processes – particularly in the setting up of clinical trials – the UK’s world-leading position is at risk.

Ben Lucas, managing director at MSD and Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) board member, delivered evidence to the inquiry on behalf of the ABPI. During his assessment, he highlighted the UK’s impressive record in terms of global vaccination but also underlined the variety of complex challenges.

He said: “The UK has historically had a strong record on vaccination, so it is frustrating to see rates going in the wrong direction when better preventative measures could ease wider pressures on the NHS. To get back on track, we must look at the whole immunisation journey, from development to assessment, through to getting vaccines to those who need them.

“Firstly, we must fix the slow and bureaucratic setup of clinical trials to streamline innovation. Next, we need to ensure our regulators and independent scientific advisers have the resources they need to properly assess new vaccines quickly.”

He added: “Finally, we need the right data and healthcare teams in place to deliver flexible vaccination services tailored to the needs of local communities and underserved populations.”

Ultimately, the ABPI welcomed the Committee’s comprehensive report and said it looked forward to seeing the forthcoming NHS vaccination strategy, which it hoped would put the recommendations into action.