JCVI member: EU made 'grave mistake' in delaying AstraZeneca approval

28 February 2021, 13:35

By Seán Hickey

This infectious disease expert declares that EU politicians overstepped the mark by initially banning the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Professor Robert Read is Professor of Infectious Diseases at the University of Southampton and a member of the JCVI. His revelations came after Tom Swarbrick put the news to him that the EU are set to approve the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine just months after they deemed it unsafe.

"What's your personal view about how that's been handled" Tom wondered.

"I think the EU made a grave mistake. Our politicians don't make scientific judgements of vaccine efficacy and I would expect their politicians to do the same thing – this is a scientific discussion."

The JCVI member went on to say that the political decision was not grounded at all in science: "There's no biological plausibility that a vaccine that works well in a 60 year old would not work in a 70 year old."

Read More: EU failed to scapegoat AstraZeneca in Article 16 fiasco

Read More: Covid-19 crisis in numbers: LBC brings you the stats you need to know

He clarified that the issue was not with EU scientists, as they came to the same conclusions as British scientists. "I think European politicians were wrong, I don't think their regulators said the same thing.

"Their regulators looked at the evidence and gave the same – broadly the same decision that our regulators did."

Tom pushed the infectious disease expert, noting that the EU were "not just wrong, catastrophically wrong. Costing lives wrong."

"Politicians have to listen to the advice of their scientists," Professor Read said, adding that "wherever that is practice, health benefits will accrue."

Listen & subscribe: Global Player | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

More Tom Swarbrick

See more More Tom Swarbrick

‘When the pubs suffer, everyone suffers’: Pub landlord speaks to LBC

‘When the pubs suffer, everyone suffers’: Pub landlord speaks to LBC

Vi and Ray Donovan MBE told Tom Swarbrick how they forgave their son's killers

Parents share how they forgave their son's killers in amazing LBC call

Dr Hopkins said anyone with coronavirus symptoms should get a PCR test.

Top UK medical adviser: New Covid strain could re-infect people who have recovered

Reaction to Omicron 'totally over the top', says South Africa top doc

Reaction to Omicron 'totally over the top', says South Africa top doc

Dr Mike Tildesley told LBC it's "very early days" on the Omicron variant

Scientific adviser: We don’t yet know if Omicron resists vaccines or is more contagious

South African Health Minister Dr Joe Phaala told Tom Swarbrick outbreaks at universities fuelled the Omicron spike.

Universities fuelled Omicron outbreak, says South African Health Minister

Swarbrick on Sunday | Watch in Full

Swarbrick on Sunday 28/11 | Watch again

Andy Burnham vows 'cross-party alliance' to level up North of England

Andy Burnham vows 'cross-party alliance' to level up North of England

Robert Buckland told Tom Swarbrick he would not support the change

Tory MP tells LBC he'll vote against Govt social care changes

Swarbrick on Sunday | Watch live from 10am

Swarbrick on Sunday 21/11 | Watch again

The shadow Leader of the House of Commons called on the PM to consider his position.

Shadow Commons Leader calls on PM to consider position over sleaze scandal

Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman's mother Mina Smallman has spoken to LBC.

'Sick of platitudes': Mother of murdered sisters tells Met Police to 'get the rot out'

Minister confirms taxpayer will foot bill for UK nuclear power strategy

Minister confirms taxpayer will foot bill for UK nuclear power strategy

Swarbrick on Sunday | Watch in Full

Swarbrick on Sunday 31/10 | Watch again

Post-lockdown extremism fears: 'We know radicalisation takes place online'

Post-lockdown extremism fears: 'We know radicalisation takes place online'

Lisa Nandy: 'I don't feel particularly safe doing the job'

Lisa Nandy: 'I don't feel particularly safe doing the job'