Scottish Daily Mail


No 10 ‘wanted Bri­tish flag on vials from Ox­ford’

- By Xan­tha Leatham UK News · Medical Treatments · Cambridge Union Society · Oxford · United Kingdom · AstraZeneca · Matthew Hancock · Boris Johnson · Whitehall · Vaccines · City of Westminster · Alok Sharma

DOWN­ING Street pushed for the Union Jack to be branded on ev­ery Ox­ford vac­cine dose, i t was claimed yes­ter­day.

No10 of­fi­cials al­legedly sug­gested that the in­jec­tion kits – de­vel­oped by Bri­tain’s top univer­sity along­side phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal gi­ant AstraZenec­a – be la­belled with the flag.

The idea re­ceived strong back­ing from West­min­ster Health Sec­re­tary Matt Han­cock and Busi­ness Sec­re­tary Alok Sharma, ac­cord­ing to the Huff­in­g­ton Post.

It is un­der­stood the plan was ini­tially con­jured up by No10’s new ‘Union unit’, tasked with bat­tling an ap­par­ent rise in calls for Scot­tish in­de­pen­dence and other cam­paigns to break up the UK.

Yes­ter­day, Down­ing Street said there were no plans for the Union Jack to be on doses – but did not deny that the re­quest had been made.

A spokesman for the Gov­ern­ment said: ‘Man­u­fac­tur­ing for some of the lead­ing po­ten­tial vac­cines is al­ready un­der­way so they can be rolled out quickly if ap­proved.

‘ Man­u­fac­tur­ers are well­versed in the best way to pack­age prod­ucts like this.’

It i s thought that Boris John­son’s aides also hoped that pro­mot­ing the Bri­tish suc­cess of the Ox­ford vac­cine would boost global good­will for the coun­try. A White­hall of­fi­cial told Huf­fPost UK there has been ‘re­newed in­ter­est’ in re­cent months on gain­ing sup­port for the Union.

‘It is some­thing we have to be con­stantly mind­ful of,’ she said. ‘They are try­ing to keep the Union in­tact.’

Other West­min­ster in­sid­ers are said to be­lieve us­ing the GB brand would in­stil pub­lic con­fi­dence amid the an­ti­vaxxer move­ment.

There has been re­cent close scru­tiny of the Ox­ford vac­cine af­ter it was found to be 70 per cent ef­fec­tive on aver­age, but 90 per cent ef­fec­tive with a low- dose jab fol­lowed by a stan­dard booster in­jec­tion.

This much higher re­sult, based on a sub- group of around 2,700 peo­ple, was ini­tially met with ex­cite­ment.

But con­cerns were raised when it emerged that no one in the group was re­port­edly over the age of 55.

Mak­ers of the vac­cine have said they plan to con­duct an ad­di­tional global trial to fur­ther as­sess the drug.

‘Try­ing to keep the UK in­tact’

 ??  ?? Mock-up: What the vials of Covid vac­cine could have looked like un­der the pro­pos­als
Mock-up: What the vials of Covid vac­cine could have looked like un­der the pro­pos­als

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