Matt Hancock has rejected authorities to order millions of additional Oxford Covid vaccines, says Grant Shapps

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Grant Shapps, the secretary of transportation, told LBC radio that the decision to buy the AstraZeneca jab in such a large quantity was taken by the secretary of health against the advice of officials.He said: “We have 100 million doses that someone in government, actually Health Secretary Matt Hancock, had the good sense to buy in advance – I have to tell you, more than he was advised to buy. to buy 30 million, he decided to buy 100 million. ”

Sources in Whitehall said: “Initially the government was considering 30 million doses, but ministers have worked to secure a much larger supply.”

Purchasing decisions are made by the ministerial group of the Vaccines Working Group, which includes the Secretary of Health, the Secretary of Business and the Chief Secretary of the Treasury.

A government spokesperson said: ‘The UK was the first country in the world to sign an agreement with the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca to ensure rapid access to 100 million doses of their Covid-19 vaccine .

“The government fully funded the University of Oxford clinical trials and their nominee was the first to be included in our diverse vaccine portfolio, which now has 355 million doses from seven vaccine developers. “



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