With so much riding on getting a vaccine for corona virus, it is not especially surprising to see world leaders trying to do what they can to secure supplies for their people.
What is a bit startling is the lengths they appear willing to go to in order to be first.
Russia has authorised an untested candidate, China has started vaccinating frontline workers with its jab, which we will come to in a moment.
But it was reported today that President Trump has actually tried to lay claim to our leading candidate – the Oxford vaccine – before even we have decided it is ready.
He was knocked back by Downing Street. We’ll only roll out a vaccine once it is deemed safe and effective by UK regulators, the spokeman said.
If that doesn’t come in time for the American election, then the President has another ploy.
Authorising the use of blood plasma from patients who have survived the virus.
Again, such a treatment hasn’t been approved here and most experts suggest there is limited evidence that it works.
The World Health Organisation said all countries should be working together – and warned against vaccine nationalism, as it becomes increasingly clear that politics and public health may not easily mix this autumn.
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