Rejoiner Adonis can’t help swipe at Brexit Britain – says jab success NOT down to leaving

EU vaccine rollout is ‘crisis of a century’ says science chief

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In the last 24 hours, 844,285 people received doses of a coronavirus vaccination, marking a new record-breaking figure. This came after more than 700,000 vaccinations were administered to the British public yesterday.

However, Lord Adonis has claimed the vaccine success in Britain was not down to the UK leaving the EU, saying it is a “red herring to Brexit”.

He tweeted: “The EU is mishandling the vaccine but as an EU member the UK could have done exactly as we’ve done in procuring and distributing the vaccine so it’s a red herring to Brexit.

“What isn’t a red herring is the 40 percent fall in exports to the EU in January, including fish.

“That spells disaster for UK.”

While the UK has been praised for its vaccine rollout, the EU is lagging far behind.

Vaccinations in Spain were just 136,000 while Italy managed 163,000 shots.

Both France and Germany inoculated 200,000 of their populations.

Britain is set to receive its first doses of a third vaccine, the Moderna jab, as early as next month.

A spokesperson for the US biotech company said: “Moderna expects to begin deliveries to the UK in April, within the spring delivery window previously communicated.

“Moderna is on track to meet quarterly contractual commitments.”

The Moderna vaccine was the third jab to be approved by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) in February.

This comes amid an ongoing row with the bloc over vaccine supplies after European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen threatened exports to the UK of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which was developed with Oxford University.

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In an interview over the weekend, Ms von der Leyen said: “This is a message to AstraZeneca – you fulfill your part of the deal toward Europe before you start to deliver to other countries.”

She has previously threatened to block exports of the Pfizer vaccine to the UK despite raw materials for the jab being made in Britain.

EU commissioner Mairead McGuinness said leaders will discuss the crisis on Thursday.

Speaking on BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, Ms McGuinness said: “European citizens are growing angry and upset at the fact that the vaccine rollout has not happened as rapidly as we had anticipated.

“Both the EU and the UK have contracts with AstraZeneca and my understanding is the company is supplying the UK but not the European Union.

“We are supplying the UK with other vaccines, so I think this is just about openness and transparency.”

This comes after experts warned Europe is entering its third wave of the pandemic as several EU states recorded large numbers of new cases.

Germany, France, Italy and Spain, as well as Portugal, Slovenia, Cyprus, the Netherlands, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, Romania, Latvia, Austria, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Bulgaria, have stopped using the AstraZeneca jab.

However, the World Health Organisation’s European director, Hans Kluge, urged EU nations to continue using the vaccine as cases continue to soar.

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