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Response to Sunday Telegraph splash

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The headline of the Telegraph story, “Matt Hancock kept Boris Johnson in dark over Covid vaccines success”, published today (Saturday 19 June) is incorrect, and misrepresents internal processes for data sharing.

The information referenced (vaccine effectiveness data against the Delta variant), was provided by Public Health England (PHE), and was shared across government before the decision to delay step 4 was taken.

The effectiveness of the vaccines against the Delta variant was discussed in the meeting that agreed the delay. Importantly, the SPI-M modelling that was presented, which was based on real world data, was in line with PHE conclusions and therefore ministers had access to the equivalent data when they made their decision.

As PHE has clearly said, analysis and work on the scientific paper continued over the weekend before it was published as soon as it was ready on Monday.

Ministers consider a range of data when making decisions. The Health Secretary asked PHE to ensure the best and latest data was available for the Sunday meeting.


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