MEDICS in Gibraltar have now given Covid vaccines to nearly 40 per cent of residents – compared to just four per cent in neighbouring Spain.
The ‘Rock’ has been able to inoculate more than 13,000 of its 33,700 population after much-needed jab supplies were flown in by the RAF over the last week.
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Meanwhile, over the border in Spain only a tiny fraction of people had been given their first jab by Friday.
The vaccination rate there has been hampered by the chaos engulfing the decision by Brussels to order supplies for all 27 member states and delays in vaccines being delivered.
As a result, among those now protected by UK-supplied jabs in Gibraltar are those who travel from Spain to work in the outpost’s care sector.
The contrasting statistics are a stark reminder of the gulf between the success of the jab rollout programme in the UK and the European Union.
Brussels boss Ursula von der Leyen has already admitted Britain has raced ahead on vaccines compared to the blundering EU.
The chief eurocrat even acknowledged Brexit had helped the UK outpace the rest of Europe with its jabs rollout.
She accepted the bloc had made big mistakes in its shambolic scheme that would have held the UK back.
By Friday, the EU has only jabbed 3.22 per cent of its adult population, compared to more than 15.5 per cent in the UK.
Von der Leyen said: “Alone, a country can be a speedboat, while the EU is more like a tanker.
“Before concluding a contract with a pharmaceutical company, the 27 member states had five full days to say whether they agreed or not. This naturally delays the process.”
And on Saturday, she warned of growing tensions between nations as she compared the global vaccine row to the 1960s “Cold War space race”.
Gibraltar is now being supplied with Covid vaccines flown out from the UK on RAF aircraft.
More than 17,000 of the Pfizer-BioNTech jabs have so far been delivered, reports the Mail Online.
The most recent consignment of 6,825 jabs arrived last weekend on a Hercules from RAF Brize Norton and more are due to arrive Monday.
Fabian Picardo, the territory’s chief minister, has expressed “the sincere gratitude” of his people for the “sterling work done by the RAF” to get the vaccines to the St Bernard’s Hospital on Gibraltar.
He added: “The logistical work necessary to get the vaccine here has been extraordinary.”
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And he hailed the Rock’s vaccine rollout so far – which on Saturday stood at 13,398 first doses and nearly 5,000 second doses.
Last night, senior Tory Mr Jones told the Mail: “I think it’s great that so many Gibraltarians are getting vaccinated at such a fast rate.
“But it just goes to show how much better off Gibraltar is in being part of the UK as a newly sovereign nation capable of running its own highly successful vaccination, well-planned programme rather than the botched slow-coach operation in Brussels.”