One third of Brits believe new Covid-19 vaccine ‘won’t be safe’, study claims

The UK's medicine regulator insisted "no corners have been cut" in checking the safety of the new Pfizer coronavirus vaccine.

Yet, more than a third of Brits have said they are unlikely to take the Covid-19 vaccine when it becomes available to them, a poll has revealed.

Britain is the first country in the world to approve a vaccine for the deadly virus, leading people to believe the end of the pandemic could be in sight.

According to a poll published by Opinium, a market research company, 60% of Brits think the jab could be available for them by April next year.

Of those hesitant to take the jab, 48% believe the jab will not be safe, effective 47% and could have serious side effects, 55%.

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The UK has social distancing restrictions in place for the remainder of the year but more than a third support loosening the lockdown.

Opinium shows 32% oppose any loosening of restrictions, with one possible reason being that 70% think this could lead to another national lockdown in January.

Matt Hancock claimed Brexit helped the UK to get a vaccine, but 10% believe the Health Secretary, with 24% believing it has hindered it.

Announcing the vaccine, Mr Hancock said "because of Brexit" the UK had been able to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, rather than wait for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to do so.

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He said: "Whilst until earlier this year we were in the European Medicines Agency, because of Brexit we’ve been able to make a decision to do this based on the UK regulator, a world-class regulator, and not go at the pace of the Europeans, who are moving a little bit more slowly.

"We do all the same safety checks and the same processes, but we have been able to speed up how they’re done because of Brexit."

No. 10 did not back Hancock, with the spokesman stating: "As I’ve said, it’s clear that we’re the first country in the world to approve this vaccine, and it’s obviously incredibly positive news."

The UK is expected to administer the first Covid vaccine dosage on Tuesday December 8 and will roll out the inoculation in collaboration with the NHS.

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