UK defends vaccine decision amid criticism it moved too fast

LONDON (AP) — U.K. regulators are going on the offensive to beat back criticism that they rushed their authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency said Friday that its personnel rigorously analyzed data on safety and effectiveness in the shortest time possible without compromising the thoroughness of their review. The agency’s comments came as the Times newspaper reported that the agency’s chief executive would give a series of radio interviews so she can speak directly to people who may be concerned about being vaccinated. The media blitz comes amid concerns that criticism of the approval process could undermine public confidence in the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, leading some individuals to shun shots.