'Don't need EU!' coronavirus vaccine stats for Manchester outperformed France claims MP

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Graham Stringer, who represents Blackley and Broughton, has said he is “very optimistic” after parting ways with the union and its “slow regulatory embrace”. Figures for Greater Manchester show 43,455 people in the top two priority groups – frontline health care workers and people aged over 80 – had been vaccinated by January 3.

Only 516 people had been vaccinated in France by the same date and this was branded a “state scandal” by French politician Jean Rottner.

The Manchester number is likely to have increased significantly as the UK hurtles forward with its vaccination campaign, described as the biggest in British history, though up-to-date numbers are yet to be released.

Figures, calculated by ourworldindata.org and Politico, indicate Belgium had administered around 54,000 vaccinations as of January 13.

France has now administered around 247,000 vaccines while the Netherlands has recorded 47,000, the data suggests. The UK has vaccinated more than three million.

Speaking on Monday, Mr Stringer told Express.co.uk: “Health officials in Salford tell me they have vaccinated more people than France which is a symbolic indicator that, by being out of the EU, we can do things better.

“I’m very optimistic about being away from its very slow regulatory embrace.”

Mr Stringer also said he has doubts over whether the EU will survive in the future, describing it as “unbalanced”.

He added: “I think the medium term future of the EU is very doubtful.

“It is so unbalanced between countries like Finland, Holland and Germany which are contributing and those that are taking.

READ MORE: EU Covid vaccine ‘battle’ forcing Commission to defuse tensions

The EU initially ordered 300 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech jab after approving it just before Christmas.

But further red tape in France – including the need for a large dossier to be read to care home staff – slowed vaccination targets.

Those receiving the vaccine in France also have to give consent to a doctor five days in advance, and there is greater scepticism than in the UK, with polls suggesting as many as 58 percent of the public do not want to be immunised.

Germany, the world’s fourth largest economy, had inoculated less people than the UK, US and Israel at the start of the year – despite vaccine producer BioNTech being based in Mainz.

Markus Söder, leader of Christian Social Union, told Bild am Sonntag about the nation’s frustrations with the delays.

He said: “The European Commission has probably planned too bureaucratically: too few of the right ones have been ordered and price debates have gone on for too long.”

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