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Representational image
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With the United Kingdom giving a thumbs up to Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for the masses, the government on Thursday (local time) said that if someone is "severely disabled as a result of taking a COVID-19 vaccine, they can access financial assistance through the Vaccine Damage Payments Scheme (VDPS)".

According to an official statement issued by the government, "In advance of a rollout of an authorised COVID-19 vaccine and in line with other immunisation programmes, the government is taking the precautionary step to ensure that, in the very rare possibility where someone is severely disabled as a result of taking a COVID-19 vaccine, they can access financial assistance through the Vaccine Damage Payments Scheme (VDPS)." However, the statement also said that no concerns regarding safety have been reported in vaccines authorised for use following "rigorous clinical trials involving tens of thousands of people and extensive analysis of the vaccine's safety, quality and effectiveness by experts from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA)".

"We are extremely confident in the effectiveness and safety of our immunisation programmes. We will not be rolling out a COVID-19 vaccine unless it has met robust standards of safety, effectiveness and quality and authorised for use by the medicines regulator, the MHRA," said Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England.

The UK became the first country in the world to authorise the use of Pfizer and BioNTech for emergency purposes, thus, paving way for the delivery of the vaccines from next week.

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