Is the Covid vaccine vegan?
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The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) says the Covid vaccine has shown 95 percent efficacy in its final trials, making it safe to be rolled out on a nationwide scale. The UK, which is so far the first country in the world to approve the jab, is expecting 800,000 doses, while the country has ordered 40million doses overall, enough to immunise 20million people.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said priority will be given to care home and NHS staff and patients.
Mr Johnson said this will ensure none of the vaccines are wasted, as the medicine has to be stored in -70C conditions.
The Prime Minister told the public not to get “carried away” with the hope the new vaccines provides, stating “significant logistical challenges remain”.
The vaccine will be rolled out in 53 hospitals initially, before being distributed to GPs and community pharmacies at some point in the future.
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Is the Covid vaccine vegan?
The new vaccine has caused controversy online after it was found to have been tested on animals.
All vaccines go through animal testing, and animal products are commonly used in the genetic makeup of an immunisation.
Pfizer and BioNTech announced the “vaccine candidate produced neutralising antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, in macaques, as well as antigen-specific CD4+ and CD8+T cells in both the nonhuman primates and mice”.
The Vegan Society released a statement addressing the animal testing after the move was slammed online.
The organisation wrote: “It has never been more important for us to talk about the definition of veganism in the context of medications, including vaccines.
“The definition of veganism recognises that it is not always possible or practicable to avoid animal use, which is particularly relevant to medical situations.
“In the case of Covid-19, vaccination will play a fundamental role in tackling the pandemic and saving lives.
“As all vaccines currently are tested on animals, at this stage it is impossible to have a vaccine that has been created without animal use.”
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The Vegan Society added in the “unlikely event” the vaccine is made mandatory, vegans would be able to request an exemption based on their beliefs.
The Society added: “However, we would like to make it clear that The Vegan Society encourages vegans to look after vegans to after their health and that of others, in order to continue to be effective advocates for veganism and other animals.
“As there is no plan for compulsory vaccination, it is the responsibility of each individual to make an informed decision about vaccines, bearing in mind the definition of veganism, with support from their local healthcare team.”
In addition to some vegans not wanting to take the vaccine, people with a history of significant allergic reactions should definitely steer clear, according to regulators.
The new warning comes after two NHS workers were reported to have had allergic reactions on Tuesday.
The advice applies to people who have had reactions to medicines, food or vaccines, the MHRA said.
The two cases of allergies occurred shortly after the immunisation, treatment has been administered and both NHS workers are fine now.
Both of the cases have a history of serious allergies and carry adrenaline pens around with them in case of emergency, so the warning has been extended to others in a similar position.
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