People are ridiculing the government for reportedly trying to get the Union Jack printed on the Oxford vaccine.
According to The Huffington Post, Number 10’s ‘Union unit’, which aims to fight calls for Scottish independence and other efforts to alter the UK, requested that the flag be printed on vaccine packaging.
Downing Street say they have no plans to pass the request on to vaccine manufacturers, despite rumoured backing from Matt Hancock and Alok Sharma.
Reportedly, the Union lobby hoped that the flag’s inclusion on injection kits would paint their availability as a British success story, both domestically and on the global stage in the wake of Brexit.
This would, in theory, inspire greater confidence in the vaccine and a sense of pride in the United Kingdom, even as Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon calls for a second independence referendum next year.
Predictably, the idea instantly backfired and the idea was mercilessly ridiculed.
The Oxford vaccine, which is being developed at Oxford University in partnership with AstraZeneca, was initially reported to have the capacity to be up to 90 per cent effective.
But AstraZeneca bosses have since admitted that the vaccine needs “additional study” as these results came from trials where one partial dose was followed up with one full dose on a relatively small sample size.
It remains unclear when a vaccine will become widely available in the UK, although the Oxford vaccine is not the only vaccine the government has invested in.
Thankfully when we do receive one, it probably won’t come bearing a political message.