Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Vaccinating the UK against covid-19

BMJ 2020; 371 doi: (Published 30 November 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;371:m4654

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Rapid Response:

Re: Is the MHRA independent?

Dear Editor

To add to my previous letter [1], JK Anand has not been alone in recent days in stating that the MHRA is “independent”. For instance, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, went so far as to say to Sky News on Tuesday that it was “fiercely independent” [2], which is perhaps more a psychological attitude than an institutional position. Either way it would be interesting to know more about this history of the MHRA standing at loggerheads with government and industry, if there is one.

[1] John Stone, ‘Is the MHRA independent?’, 4 December 2020,

[2] Ellie Cambridge, Shaun Wooller, ‘ HELP IS ON THE WAY Everything you need to know about the new Pfizer vaccine’, Th Sun 2 December 2020,

Competing interests:, an on-line daily journal, concerns itself with the potential environmental sources for the proliferation of autism, neurological impairment, immune dysfunction and chronic disease. I receive no payment as UK Editor. I also moderate comments for the on-line journal ‘The Defender’ for which I am paid. I am also a member of the UK Medical Freedom Alliance

06 December 2020
John Stone
UK Editor
London N22