Welsh Government hits back at Matt Hancock's claim it relied on 'English buffer' for vaccines

The Welsh Government has hit back at claims its vaccine programme was a success as a result of being able to draw on England's supply if it needed to.

It comes following comments made by England's Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who was being questioned over allegations made by the Prime Minister's former aide, Dominic Cummings, to the Health and Social Care Committee and Science and Technology Committee.

During questioning, he said that England would have been able to supply more vaccines if there was an issue in Wales with people receiving their second doses.

"Now that is not a decision I could make for England, because I can't draw on anybody else's buffer", he said.

He told MPs it demonstrated the union of the United Kingdom was helping to "save lives" and "helped them [Wales] have one of the fastest vaccination programmes in the world".

In response to his comments, the Welsh Government said the success of its vaccine programme was a result of "excellent planning and sheer hard work of vaccine teams around Wales."

"It is wrong to suggest we're reliant on an “English buffer” - we have our own – we are simply more efficient at using it", it said in a tweet.

The Welsh Government tweeted its response claiming Matt Hancock was "wrong" to say it was reliant on England for vaccines Credit: Twitter

Wales' vaccine programme has recently been hailed by the First Minister as 'one of the best in the world'.

Latest data shows more than half of the adult population in Wales are now fully vaccinated, with almost 2.2m receiving their first dose.

Mark Drakeford announced on Monday the government plans to offer all over-18s a coronavirus vaccine - six weeks ahead of its target.