Politics

No more playing around! Boris loses patience with India and sends top man to end jab block

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The Prime Minister’s former chief of staff, Sir Eddie Lister has travelled to India “to discuss bilateral relations”.

He is understood to be planning to travel to the Serum Institute, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, in a bid to secure more jabs for Britain.

It emerged last week supply of doses will drop off a cliff next month in part due to the Indian government’s decision to block the export of doses from the country.

Local NHS leaders were written to last week being told not to make any appointments for new first doses of vaccines in April apart from those over-50 or clinically vulnerable.

Vaccine centres have instead been told to focus supply on injections of second doses due to the shortfall of doses.

It means the over-40s could be forced to wait until May before getting a jab.

Lord Lister’s trip to India to try and secure more jabs for Brits comes amid fears the EU could ban all vaccine exports at a virtual Brussels summit on Thursday.

A shortfall of jabs from both India and the EU would risk seriously derailing the UK’s immunisation programme.

UK officials have sought to downplay the significance and timing of the New Delhi visit, saying he is there to help with preparations ahead of a long-planned diplomatic trip by the Prime Minister to the country next month.

More to follow…

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