Preliminary results from clinical trials indicate that there are at least three vaccines that could play an important part in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a very major advance in our fight against the virus. Our new 4 page report identifies some of the key determinants of the most effective use of these vaccines in the future and presents some preliminary recommendations.
The following recommendations have been developed from consideration of factors likely to influence how far vaccine roll out meets the goal of combating COVID-19.
- Ensure transparent, publicly accountable, independent assessment of vaccine trial data to guide UK regulatory approval.
- Beyond the issue of regulatory approval, set up a fully independent evaluation programme that has full access to trial data and a direct route to dissemination of findings to the public without censorship.
- Build problem detection and troubleshooting into the implementation programme from the start.
- Use honest, clear, and targeted communication about the vaccine and its effectiveness and side effects to inform and build trust in the general population and key stakeholders.
- Anticipate, monitor, and address disinformation campaigns, and avoid fuelling these campaigns by exaggerated or questionable reporting in press releases, and academic papers.
- Anticipate and address concerns arising from the inevitable health issues that will arise that may or may not be related to the vaccine.
- Avoid overstating the potential of the vaccines and acknowledge their limitations from the start.
- Accept that doubts and questions about vaccines are reasonable and should be fully addressed, treating those who express legitimate doubts with respect.
- Use co-production and stakeholder engagement at all stages in the roll out.
- Use the vaccine as a part of the overall strategy to eliminate COVID 19 from the UK.