Ursula von der Leyen has taken a barbed swipe at Boris Johnson over his ‘space race’ approach to vaccines as she faces a huge backlash over the EU shambles. The European Commission president complained that some countries saw the drive to inoculate populations as a Cold War style ‘confrontation’. The comments, as she addressed students attending the online Warwick Economics Summit, follow bitter clashes between the bloc and Britain over supplies. Meanwhile, German minister Peter Altmeier has dismissed comparisons with the UK’s faster rollout, saying Mr Johnson’s handling of the crisis had resulted in a higher death rate and ‘endless suffering to tens of thousands of families’. The UK hit another vaccination milestone yesterday, with 12million people having been given jabs. However, there are rising concerns today that mutant coronavirus strains could derail the huge push – with research suggesting the AstraZeneca jab is less effective against the South African variant. In other developments in the pandemic today: The UK is on course to hit its target of vaccinating the 14.5million most vulnerable days before the February 15 target date, with 450,000 being jabbed every day; But Storm Darcy is bringing chaos with up to a foot of snowfall and 50mph… Read full this story
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