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Jeremy Hunt Reveals He Caught Covid Three Days After Getting Vaccine

Former health secretary Jeremy Hunt has revealed he contracted coronavirus three days after getting his first dose of the Covid vaccine (Alamy)

3 min read

The former health secretary Jeremy Hunt has described it as “very bad luck” that he caught Covid-19 just three days after he was given his first dose of the vaccine.

The senior Conservative MP made the revelation as he quizzed the Prime Minister as he appeared in front of the liaison committee this afternoon.

Hunt, 54, asked Boris Johnson about the progress of the rollout of the vaccine, to which he said the government was still on course to give a first jab to cohorts 1-9 in the priority list by 15 April.

As that includes everyone over 50 the PM asked Hunt, who is also chair of the health select committee: “I don’t know if you’d had one Jeremy?”

He replied: “I’ve had my jab, yes. I still got the virus three days after, so the immunity hadn’t set in.”

An incredulous Johnson asked: “You got the virus three days after the jab?”

While the vaccine does offer significant protection after the first dose, it takes around ten days after the jab for antibodies to become effective. 

Hunt said it was “very bad luck”, before adding: “But the jab probably made the symptoms much less.”

He also quizzed the PM on vaccine nationalism amid the row with the EU over jabs manufactured by AstraZeneca, and whether the UK ruled out taking "measured and proportionate retaliation" to exports being blocked by Brussels.

"The partnership we have with our European colleagues is very, very important, we continue to work with them," Johnson told the committee, which is made up of the chairs of the other select committees.

"Vaccines, as you know, are the product of international co-operation.

“I don't think that blockades of either vaccines or of ingredients for vaccines are sensible, and I think that the long-term damage done by blockades can be very considerable.

"I would just gently point out to anybody considering a blockade or an interruption of supply chains that companies may look at such actions and draw conclusions about whether or not it is sensible to make future investments in countries where arbitrary blockades are imposed.”

It comes after the European Commission revealed the details of new plans to tighten export controls, as it claimed some companies were not "delivering" on their contracts.

The proposals, which will be discussed at an EU summit tomorrow, fall short of a ban on vaccine exports, but will urge members of the bloc to judge whether exports are "justified" before they are allowed to leave.

In a statement, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the scheme would introduce "reciprocity and proportionality" into the authorisation system by taking into account the vaccination rate and vaccine supply of countries before shipments are released.

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