The first round of Covid-19 vaccinations for the general public have begun to be distributed in the United Kingdom this morning with pensioners being the first to receive the medication against the deadly disease.
The first recipient of the Pfizer vaccine was 90-year-old Margaret Keenan in Coventry who received the jab at 6:45 am on Tuesday. She was soon followed by, we kid you not, William Shakespeare from Warwickshire. Overall, the vaccines have been sent to 50 hospitals across the UK and will be administered to patients aged 80 and over who are either attending as an outpatient or are being discharged after a stay in hospital.
The vaccine has been created thanks to a combination of talented scientists from the United States and Europe but the fact that it is first being distributed in the UK hasn’t stopped the Conservative government from bragging about being the first country to use it. Although few would begrudge them this honour, the lack of acknowledgement for other countries contribution hasn’t sat too well with some.
Last week, business secretary Alok Sharma was criticised for calling the vaccine “the moment as the day the UK led humanity’s charge against this disease.” Elsewhere, education secretary Gavin Williamson, was accused of spouting ‘jingoistic nonsense’ after saying the UK was ‘better than any other nation for having the vaccine first.’
With today’s news Boris Johnson has posted a message and although if doesn’t fall into the same traps as those two aforementioned MPs, he did still fail to pay tribute to the scientists from other countries that have helped to create the vaccine, which will likely save millions of people’s lives around the world.
Rather than allowing Johnson to not give any other countries any credit, Alexander De Croo, the prime minister of Belgium (where the vaccine was produced) replied to the UK PM with a subtle reminder of where the vaccine had come from, which is somewhere the UK isn’t a part of anymore.
Speaking of Brexit, Johnson has now admitted that striking a trade deal with the EU, which just12 months ago he was claiming was ‘oven-ready’ is now looking "looking very, very difficult at the moment" and this was after he had held a 90-minute phone conversation with European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen on Monday.