Vaccine row: David Davis says EU has been ‘very emotional’
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The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has upgraded its expected UK growth in 2021 to 5.1 percent. The adjusted figure means Britain is expected to grow almost 25 percent more this year than the forecasted three months ago.
The increase comes in response to the rapid rollout of Covid jabs to Brits across the country.
However, the OECD said it expects the eurozone to grow by 3.9 percent in 2021 – a rise of just 0.3 percent since the coronavirus immunisation programme got underway on the continent.
The think tank said the EU’s economic recovery would be “more gradual”, adding: “The acceleration of vaccine deployment should help momentum to build, particularly in the United Kingdom.”
Over 22.5 million Brits have so far received a first dose of a vaccine, with all over-50s set to get a first jab by April 15 and all adults by the end of July.
New cases, hospitalisations and deaths have plummeted since the vaccination programme began to be rolled out.
A further 231 fatalities were recorded yesterday, a drop of 33.2 percent in a week and a fall of 80 percent over the past month.
The eurozone has vaccinated just nine in every 100 people, compared to 32 people per 100 in the UK.
While cases are dropping in Britain, in Europe as a whole, the case rate is rising.
The World Health Organisation’s regional director Hans Kluge told a news conference on Friday: “Last week, new cases of COVID-19 in Europe rose nine percent to just above one million.
“This brought a promising six-week decline in new cases to an end, with more than half of our region seeing increasing numbers of new infections.”
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The EU was slower to approve the Pfizer vaccine for use and many countries banned the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab from being given to older people or blocked its use completely.
The spread of misinformation about the UK developed Covid antidote, including claims by French President Emmanuel Macron that it was “quasi-ineffective” in over-65s, has led to a low take up rate of the jab on the continent.
The OECD said: “Faster progress in vaccine deployment in all countries would enable restrictions to be lifted more quickly and enhance confidence and spending.
“Slow progress in vaccine rollout and the emergence of new virus mutations resistant to existing vaccines would result in a weaker recovery, larger job losses and more business failures.”
Boris Johnson has outlined his roadmap to end lockdown in England with hopes for a return to normality by June 21.
The gradual easing of Covid measures began on Monday with the return of all children to schools.
More restrictions will be lifted at a minimum of five week intervals in order for ministers and scientists to ensure the previous restrictions do not lead to an unexpected surge in new cases.
The Prime Minister has said he wants the easing of lockdown measures to be “irreversible”.
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