VACCINE minister Nadhim Zahawi today revealed he lost his uncle to coronavirus last week.
The 53-year-old said the pandemic is “painful” and “closer to home than you think” when he made the heartbreaking revelation.
Vaccine minister Nadhim Zahawi said his uncle has died from coronavirus
He told GMB the pandemic is “closer to home than you think”
He said his uncle died from Covid-19 just weeks before getting the vaccine.
Speaking to ITV’s Good Morning Britain, he said: “It’s painful, and it’s closer to home than you think Piers, in terms of losing relatives and family.
“I lost my uncle last week to Covid, but, you’re right, it is grim and horrible, but our way out of this is the vaccination programme.
“It makes me angry, but it makes me determined to make sure we vaccinate the most vulnerable people in our country and protect them as quickly as possible and then protect the whole nation.
“That is our way out of this. That is ultimately what we will do and I promise you I will make sure that happens.”
“He was entitled to one (a vaccine) but sadly he got Covid before he got the vaccine.
“Obviously you have to wait 28 days until someone recovers before you can vaccinate them – he didn’t make it.”
Mr Zahawi warned eurocrats “no-one is safe until the whole world is safe” in a broadside at the bloc’s move to control exports.
But he insisted he is fully confident that supplies to the UK of the crucial Pfizer and AstraZeneca doses won’t be affected.
I lost my uncle last week to Covid, but, you’re right, it is grim and horrible, but our way out of this is the vaccination programme.”
EU health chief Stella Kyriakides announced new rules last night that will make drugs companies notify Brussels before shipping jabs abroad.
Mr Zahawi said this morning: “Vaccine nationalism is the wrong way to go. No one is safe until we’re all safe.
“We need to work together rather than begin to muse policies of vaccine nationalism.
“That’ my priority – to protect the British people, but also to protect the whole world. Because no one is safe.”
Germany also sparked a major row with No 10 by briefing out anonymous claims that the AstraZeneca jab is only 8% effective in over-65s.
The reports were immediately dismissed as “completely incorrect” by the drugmaker which said it had supplied plenty of evidence proving otherwise.
But they prompted fury in Downing St, with one Whitehall insider branding the allegations “f***ing bonkers” and Russian-style disinformation.
Mr Zahawi refused to be drawn into open criticism of the EU, insisting: “We will always support them – they are our neighbours, our friends, our allies, our trading partners.”
And the vaccines minister said he was confident supplies would not be affected by the astonishing move from Brussels.
But he admitted “supplies are tight” and “they continue to be” due to global demand for jabs.
He said: “Any new manufacturing process is going to have challenges, it’s lumpy and bumpy. It gets better, it stabilises and improves going forward.”
All of the Pfizer vaccine is made in Belgium, whilst some doses of the AstraZeneca jab are manufactured in the Netherlands and Germany.
But Mr Zahawi said: “I’m confident that AstraZeneca and Pfizer will both deliver for us the quantities that we need to meed our mid-February target and of course beyond that.
“Pfizer have made sure they always deliver to us, they will continue to do so.”