Burnley MP: No Covid vaccine will be made mandatory
Speaking in his weekly Burnley Express column, the MP said the vaccine was the best chance of people reclaiming their lives, and there had been no compromise or relaxation in safety measures around its production.
"This week we saw what is the most positive news we have had all year – the Pfizer / BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, which is 95% effective, has been formally approved for use in the UK.
"This is a huge achievement, not least because we have millions of doses on pre-order ready to go.
"The first 800,000 of these will be delivered to hospitals around the country next week and vaccinations will start - looking first at our NHS staff, care home residents and their carers.
"All of whom we know are at greater risk from Covid-19.
"And as this continues, we will also wait to see the outcomes from the other vaccines, from Moderna and Astra Zeneca / University of Oxford.
"These, as with the Pfizer vaccine, will only be authorised if absolutely safe. There has been no compromise or relaxation, just a concerted effort.
"Reviews have been taking place of the clinical data whilst the trials have been taking place, giving our regulators the information they need to continually assess and evaluate.
"I also want to quell another concern that may still exist.
"No vaccine will be made mandatory, nor would I ever support it being made that way.
"And in case there was any doubt, the Prime Minister stated this explicitly in the House of Commons on Wednesday.
"I do hope, however, that as many people as possible get the vaccine as I will be doing. It offers the best chance we have of reclaiming our lives and getting the economy back on track."