AstraZeneca has provided fewer doses of the coronavirus vaccine than it initially pledged, but says its contract means it only committed to using “best endeavours” to supply the agreed amount.
Earlier this year Brussels demanded jabs earmarked for Brits be redistributed to the EU.
Criticising the demands when speaking at the Jenner Institute in Oxford this afternoon, the Health Secretary said Brits “love queuing” and there was “nothing more upsetting than people jumping the queue”.
“I knew that some of the most difficult moments of the pandemic would not be before the vaccine was approved, but afterwards when the scramble for vaccines have begun,” he said.
“We Brits love queuing and there’s nothing more upsetting than someone jumping the queue.
“So, again, we started planning early to make sure that this was fair and we spent time preparing for how to organise the rollout in as fair a way as possible.
“The clinically advised prioritisation for getting vaccines in arms has been critical, I believe, in securing trust in the programme overall because it’s helped demonstrate that the system is fair.
“So, we acted early to reassure people that in the finest tradition of the values of the NHS, vaccines will be given according to need, not ability to pay – whether you’re the Prime Minister, or Premier League footballer or the future king of England. You have to wait your turn, just like everyone else.”
More to follow…