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CMO says Britons won’t get to choose between Covid vaccines for months as regulator warns of allergic reactions to Pfizer jab

Chris Whitty, England’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO), told lawmakers on Wednesday that people will not get to select which vaccine they want to take during the first phase of the UK’s mass immunization programme. 

“A situation where we have enough vaccines that you have a choice which one you wish, (that) will be a very nice problem for us to have. It is not the problem we have at the moment and it is not a problem we’re going to have for the next four months,” Whitty said. 

“Currently, if the choice is between a good vaccine and no vaccine, I’m going to just go for whichever good vaccine is available,” the CMO added.

Whitty’s comment comes as the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MRHA) issued a warning on Wednesday that people with a history of ‘significant’ allergic reactions should not take Pfizer’s Covid-19 jab. 

The alert was issued after two NHS staff members experienced adverse reactions to the Pfizer jab. They are both said to be recovering well. 

The UK’s mass vaccination programme started on Tuesday at hospitals across the country, using the recently approved Pfizer vaccine.

So far, the Pfizer vaccine has only been approved for use in the UK.

On Tuesday, Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, said he was hoping that the vaccine developed by AstraZeneca may also be approved before the end of the year. 

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