Nadhim Zahawi “confident” that Pfizer supply will continue amid AstraZeneca row

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Government vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi has said he is “confident” that the Pfizer supply would continue, despite concerns over export controls from the EU.

The bloc has reportedly been considering tight controls on the export of coronavirus vaccines made in the bloc, potentially impacting the UK’s supply of Pfizer jabs. 

Asked whether the EU could prevent Pfizer vials leaving its borders, Mr Zahawi told Sky News: “No, I’m confident that the Pfizer vaccine will be delivered.

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“Pfizer have made sure that they have always delivered for us, they will continue to do so.

“They have made a very important announcement on the equitable supply of the whole world, including the European Union, and I’m sure they will deliver for the European Union, the United Kingdom and for the rest of the world.

“We have got 367 million vaccines that we have ordered from seven different suppliers, so I’m confident we will meet our target and continue to vaccinate the whole of the adult population by the autumn.”

Vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi has said it is “too early” to know if summer holidays will go ahead.

Nadhim Zahawi said it was “too early” for people to think about summer holiday plans.

In an interview with BBC Breakfast he said: “I would say it is too early to begin to speculate on summer holidays.

“I think the right thing to do now is to continue with our vaccination drive. I think on Saturday we got to half a million first dose jabs in a single day – we continue to make great progress.”

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In a subsequent interview with Sky News he added: “At the moment we have reached Base Camp, if I could describe it as that – over 6.5 million people now with the first dose. There is a long way to go.”

He told Times Radio: “We’re making great progress with the vaccination programme.”

“We want to make sure we reopen the economy in a gradual way and that is very much our intention.

“The priority has to be schools.”

Asked about the possibility of new quarantine measures being introduced, vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi told Times Radio: “We keep our border policy under constant review, as do other countries.”

He added: “Matt Hancock spoke to the travel industry last week to explain the health challenges but also the Business Secretary constantly engages with the industry as well.”

“Vaccine nationalism is the wrong way to go.

“No one is safe until we’re all safe.”

He added: “We need to work together rather than begin to muse policies of vaccine nationalism.”

A spokeswoman said: “We remain in close contact with all of our vaccine suppliers.

“Our vaccine supply and scheduled deliveries will fully support offering the first dose to all four priority groups by February 15.”

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