D.He has notified the government of a “significant reduction” in the supply of vaccines to the UK Public Health Service, the NHS. A letter leaked to several media outlets on Wednesday said the supply disruption would last for four weeks starting at the end of March. Health Secretary Matt Hancock called the evening letter a “normal functioning letter” and a “standard letter” used by the NHS to respond to a standard government request. Vaccine supply has never been linear, and predictions have “sometimes been up and sometimes down.”
Hancock assured that the government’s goals were not in danger. Currently, those over the age of fifty will be the last of the nine priority groups to receive invitations and will be vaccinated by April 15 as planned. The goal of protecting all adults in the kingdom will be achieved by the end of July. Hancock spoke of “fantastic improvement” and stressed that 25 million residents have already been vaccinated, meaning that every second adult is protected by at least one dose.
EU Commission President Ursula van der Leyen has commented that if the EU stops exporting vaccines to the Kingdom, they will not be delivered in any other direction. Hancock recalled that the UK government had given “tens of thousands of pounds” to AstraZeneca’s vaccine research, including the EU – which had helped build supply chains and signed a legal agreement under which the UK guaranteed “the first 100 million doses”. Therefore, London expects AstraZeneca to fulfill its obligations and continue to supply vaccines to the UK from European manufacturing facilities. Van der Leyen also agreed to the policy of executing the agreement.