The COVID-19 vaccination programme and the way the UK Government supported the vaccine development, was “one of the most effective initiatives in history“.
They were the findings in a report, Coronavirus: Lessons learned to date, from Parliament’s Health and Social Care Committee and the Science and Technology Committee.
The report was extremely critical of various positions taken including the slowness to move to initial lockdown in the first wave in March 2020.
However, in a report of contrasts, it reserved high praise for other things that happened and made a huge positive difference to outcomes in the UK and around the world.
The vaccine programme will ultimately help to save millions of lives globally. This includes the decision to create the Vaccines Taskforce – which brought together a wide range of skills and talents of scientists, the NHS and the private sector, and led by Kate Bingham, the venture capitalist. The idea had initially been formulated by Sir Patrick Vallance, the Chief Scientific Adviser.
In addition, the UK backed several likely vaccine candidates including the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine.
The UK also led the world and contributed to saving over one million lives worldwide through the trial and adoption of the cheap steroid, dexamethasone.
Another success in the UK was the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency being the first regulator to approve a vaccine, and the UK having the first citizen vaccinated.