It is understood that “several hundred” adults from the Republic of Ireland have tried to book a jab in the province as their country’s programme is hampered by EU incompetence. This has led to barely one in 10 people having received a jab south of the border – compared to around half of the population in Northern Ireland.
This inability to get the vaccine in their own country has sent them hand in cap to Brexit Britain.
Sources told Irish News that the practice has been ongoing for weeks as EU supply issues continue to stall the rollout of the vaccine in the Republic.
It has now become so prolific that Patricia Donnelly, the head of Northern Ireland’s vaccination programme, issued a stark warning yesterday.
It came as Belfast’s SSE Arena began taking bookings as it prepares to vaccinate up to 8,000 people a day from Monday.
READ MORE: EU infighting erupts: Germany turns on France over vaccines
Right-thinking Brits reacted with even more rage as the news emerged – with many pointing out the EU’s double standards.
One wrote: “Let’s hope the border is manned by PSNI to stop EU/Irish people trying to get (a) vaccine in Northern Ireland because their beloved EU masters have let them down.”
Another wrote: “Send them to Belfast. If the EU put a border between Ireland and Northern Ireland then we simply scrap the protocol.
“If they don’t put up the border then we have vaccines. Either way it’s a win.”
The news emerged as a war of words over “vaccine nationalism” between Brussels bureaucrats and the UK continues to escalate.
Today Tory MPs reacted furiously after MEPs targeted the UK with plans to block vaccine exports to countries with high jab rates.
The European Commission risked undermining legal contracts as it published new proposals widening the criteria for restricting exports.
Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovkis complained that the EU had exported 43million doses to 33 countries since January – including 10million to Britain.
He said exports could be restricted to destination countries that limit their own exports of jabs or raw materials – whether by law or other means.
Health Committee chair Jeremy Hunt condemned the move, warning that it risked “destroying the possibility of a long-term partnership and friendship with its closest neighbour”.
Bernd Lange, chairman of the European Parliament’s international trade committee, said the bloc had “brought out the shotgun” but risked “shooting itself in the foot”.