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Covid vaccine supremo’s expletive outburst at UK health bosses

T

he architect of Britain’s successful vaccination programme has taken a swipe a health officials.

Dame Kate Bingham, who led the vaccine task force, accused them of dismantling a critically important database, set up to aid Covid jab trials, when it could be used for other vital medical research programmes.

She told the Observer: “All this talk about the UK becoming a serious science superpower is b*******.

“These people don’t actually care. If you really want to make our clinical research strong, you don’t start dismantling what’s been put in place.”

Dame Kate’s outburst follows a decision by the National Institute for Health and Care Research to insist volunteers already signed up to a national database of individuals willing to take part in medical research must now go through a complex, three-stage verification process to reapply to stay in the scheme.

She described the move as “ridiculous” and said the database was set up in 2020 so the UK had a pool of people waiting to be enrolled in trials once candidate Covid vaccines had been developed by researchers.

Dame Kate added: “We got 550,000 people signed up, and about 50,000 of them were later used in 18 different vaccine trials for seven different companies. So it was incredibly effective.”

Dame Kate Bingham gets her vaccine (PA)

/ PA Archive

Lord Bethell, a Tory peer who also helped to create the database, said it was “heartbreaking to witness this short-term cutback”.

He added: “We want to attract medical research investment to the UK but our once-great clinical trials offer is in grave decline.”

The NIHR said its aim was to “create a new and better registry to help people with all conditions”, adding: “It is important people are asked to give fresh consent for any new volunteer service.”

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