Labour MP issues humiliating apology after attacking ‘dumb’ UK for rejecting EU jab scheme

Vaccine: 600,000 Brits receive jab in single day

Last summer Hornsey and Wood Green MP Catherine West condemned the Prime Minister’s decision to opt-out of the EU’s jabs rollout last summer, describing the decision as “dumb and dumber”. Remainers accused Mr Johnson of putting lives at risk and placing Brexit before the pandemic with the decision not to participate in the scheme.

Since coronavirus vaccines were approved for emergency use, the UK’s immunisation programme has operated far more smoothly than the EU’s.

Ms West wrote on Twitter this morning: “Last year, I tweeted about the EU vaccine scheme.

“My tweet has proven to be wrong, and I’ve now apologised and deleted it.

“Our NHS is doing a great job and I’ll continue supporting the effort to vaccine Britain.”

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In the UK nearly nine million people have now had a Covid jab, with just shy of 600,000 injections completed on Saturday.

It means more than one percent of the adult population received a vaccine in a single day.

All care home residents in England have now been offered a jab, with the Government on track to have given the top four priority groups a dose of the Covid antidote by February 15.

In contrast, the EU has suffered a sluggish start to its inoculation programme with pressure building on the European Commission over its handling of the situation.

The bloc has suffered supply shortages of doses due to its slowness to agree contracts with drugs manufacturers.

A huge row broke out between the EU and AstraZeneca last week after the supplier said it would only be able to deliver a quarter of the number of doses it had promised to the bloc in the coming months.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen demanded the company redirect some doses earmarked for the UK to the EU.

However, AstraZeneca said its contract with the bloc did not guarantee them access to vaccines set for Britain.

The row has since partially been resolved, with Ms von der Leyen, saying the manufacturer of the drug has since said it will “deliver nine million additional doses in the first quarter of the year compared to last week’s offer”.

The deliveries are also set to start one week earlier than scheduled.

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Ms von der Leyen described the agreement as a “step forward”.

Member states are also far behind Israel, Britain and the United States in rolling out vaccines.

While 9.47 million jabs have been given in the UK so far, in Germany – the EU member state with the highest number of inoculations – just 3.32 million vaccines have been administered.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the rollout “will only accelerate from here on”.

Speaking after all older care home residents had been offered a jab, he said: “Today marks a crucial milestone in our ongoing race to vaccinate the most vulnerable against this deadly disease.

“We said we would prioritise and protect care home residents, and that is exactly what we have done.

“There will be difficult moments to come, and the number of cases and people in hospital remains dangerously high.

“But vaccines are our route out of the pandemic, and having protected 8.9 million people with a first dose so far, our rollout programme will only accelerate from here on.”

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