1 December 2020

Following on from his efforts to bring attention to the work being done to develop a Covid-19 vaccine, the extension of trials and his Westminster Hall debate on the subject, Bill Wiggin MP has received notes from both the Prime Minister and the Head of AstraZeneca UK .

The Prime Minister sent a letter in response to Bill Wiggin MP’s efforts on raising the need to extend vaccine and therapeutic trials.

It can be seen here:

Tom Keith-Roach, Head of AstraZeneca UK wrote to Mr Wiggin, thanking him for his support.

Dear Bill,

Thanks for your note and the question at PMQs. We are delighted beyond words about what this could mean for making vaccination a reality for hundreds of millions of patients around the world and it comes as a result of an absolutely unprecedented homegrown collaborative effort between government, academia, industry and the 12,000 members of the public here who volunteered to be part of our phase III programme. We’re very proud to be part of it and are now working furiously to build on the 4m doses we already have on shore for the UK to get up to 19m by year end. Thank you Bill for your strong support, the positive surround sound will become so important in driving uptake, subject to regulatory approval, once the vaccine becomes broadly available.

All my best wishes,

Tom.

18 November 2020

Stakeholder Briefing: Delivering the NHS Covid-19 vaccination

12 November 2020

On Tuesday 10th November, MP for North Herefordshire, Bill Wiggin held a Westminster Hall debate on the Covid-19 vaccine.

In the news, hope was raised that a vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech may soon be available.

Mr Wiggin MP has recently met with three leading vaccine manufacturers about the development process and what more can be done to aid their work.

In the debate, he called for the Government to extend trials for both the vaccine and therapeutics to volunteers who are vulnerable or at-risk.

He also called for better collaboration between Government and vaccine regulators worldwide to ensure vaccine development continues to accelerate in the future.

Commenting, Bill Wiggin MP said:

“I called for this debate because I am convinced that a vaccine for Covid-19 is the best answer to combatting this virus.

Not only will this avoid future lockdowns, but it will ensure those most vulnerable in society are protected.

Many will have seen the latest announcement from Pfizer/BioNTech and their breakthrough, citing 90% efficacy in initial trial results.

This is a great step forward but we are not quite ready to roll out the vaccine yet.

There are over 258 vaccine candidates being manufactured worldwide.

Over 50 are in clinical trials of which 11 are in final, Phase III trials.

Our Government has already ordered over 300 million doses from 6 different manufacturers.

This is all most welcome and I called for Governments, scientists, medical companies and regulators worldwide to collaborate to remove some of the barriers to faster vaccine development going forward.

By agreement these bodies can decide on the same standards, parameters and end goals, globally .

As a result, when faced with a situation like this again, a vaccine can be rolled out faster.

It has been a difficult few months for many but we are almost there with the way out.

Soon we will be able to visit our family and friends once again, get business back on its feet and get people back into work to get the country running at full capacity.”

To read Bill’s speech please click here.

To watch the whole debate please click here.