this is bbc news with the latest headlines: a new vaccine produced in the uk has been found to be highly effective against coronavirus — including the british variant. this is effective against the uk and south african variant, shows phenomenal efficacy, and is made in teesside. the president of the european commission insists astrazeneca's contract with the bloc is binding, and the company must fulfil its contract with the eu, as the european medicines agency meets to decide whether to approve the jab. do get in touch with your thoughts about vaccines, lockdown or any other stories in the programme. i'm @martinebbc on twitter. use the hashtag #bbcyourquestions lockdown in wales will last
for three more weeks at least — but children could return to schools there after the february half—term. "exhausted". the duchess of cambridge talks candidly about the challenges of both home—schooling and home—hairdressing her children. the rspb launches its big garden birdwatch where members of the public are asked to spend one hour counting and recording the birds they see from their home and coming up this hour: we'll meet a nurse who gave birth nearly three months ago while seriously ill with covid—19 who has held her daughter for the first time after being discharged from hospital. good morning and welcome.
a new coronavirus vaccine has been shown to be 89.3% effective in large—scale uk trials. the novavax jab is the first to show it is effective against both the uk and south african variants of the virus, as you can see from this graph. the uk has secured 60 million doses of the jab, which will be made in stockton—on—tees. the doses are expected to be delivered in the second half of this year, if approved for use by regulator. meanwhile, the european medicines agency will meet today to decide whether to approve the oxford astrazeneca vaccine developed for emergency use in eu countries. it comes as the president of the european commission, ursula von der leyen, has demanded astrazeneca fulfils its contract with the eu. a row has broken out in the past few days after the firm said problems with its production plant in belgium meant the eu would not be getting all of the vaccines it had paid for. yesterday, germany recommended that the jab should be given only to people under the age of 65, but the uk continues to insist it provides high levels
of protection for all adults. with more on all the latest vaccine developments, here's our reporterjohn donison. another scientific breakthrough in the fight against coronavirus. this time, from the us firm novavax. results of the company's british trail show the first proven efficacy against the new more contagious uk variant. there were more than 15,000 volunteers on the trial throughout the uk. 0ver volunteers on the trial throughout the uk. over half the cases of covid—19 recorded came from the new variant. it covid-19 recorded came from the new variant. , , , variant. it is very significant, because we _ variant. it is very significant, because we were _ variant. it is very significant, because we were able - variant. it is very significant, because we were able to - variant. it is very significant, i because we were able to show variant. it is very significant, - because we were able to show the vaccine works well against both the old, the original strain, and the new strain. it had 96% efficacy against the original strain and yet it still had 86% efficacy against the variant strain.— it still had 86% efficacy against the variant strain. separate trials
have also shown _ the variant strain. separate trials have also shown the _ the variant strain. separate trials have also shown the vaccine - the variant strain. separate trials. have also shown the vaccine works against a new south african strain. it is a fantastic result, because it shows_ it is a fantastic result, because it shows the — it is a fantastic result, because it shows the novavax vaccine is effective _ shows the novavax vaccine is effective against both the uk variant — effective against both the uk variant as well as the south african variant, _ variant as well as the south african variant, and— variant as well as the south african variant, and has shown phenomenal efficacy. _ variant, and has shown phenomenal efficacy, and it is made in teesside, so not only heavily trailed — teesside, so not only heavily trailed vaccines to show they are safe and — trailed vaccines to show they are safe and effective, but we are also making _ safe and effective, but we are also making it — safe and effective, but we are also making it too, so we will be able to save lives _ making it too, so we will be able to save lives in — making it too, so we will be able to save lives in the uk. the making it too, so we will be able to save lives in the uk.— save lives in the uk. the vaccine minister. — save lives in the uk. the vaccine minister, who _ save lives in the uk. the vaccine minister, who took _ save lives in the uk. the vaccine minister, who took part - save lives in the uk. the vaccine minister, who took part in - save lives in the uk. the vaccine minister, who took part in the i minister, who took part in the trials himself, said it was great to see such encouraging results, and is now awaiting approval from the regulator. the uk has 60 million doses of the new on offer. it will be a huge boost to the immunisation drive, which has already seen almost 7.5 million people across the uk receive a first dose of either the pfizer or astrazeneca vaccines. but a row continues with the european
union, which was much slower off the mark in ordering and approving vaccines. the eu now wants access to some of the uk's supply of astrazeneca doses because of shortages on the continent. the eu regulator is expected to approve the astrazeneca vaccine today. meanwhile, in germany, where the pfizer vaccine is being used, a national vaccine committee has said the astrazeneca jab should for now not be given to people aged 65 and above because of insufficient evidence of how effective it is in older people. the government here has firmly rejected that. ﬁur has firmly re'ected that. our authorities — has firmly rejected that. our authorities have _ has firmly rejected that. oi" authorities have made it very clearly think the oxford astrazeneca is very good and efficacious. they think that it is effective across all age groups and provides a good immune response across all age groups. immune response across all age
urou s. . immune response across all age u-rous. . ., immune response across all age a rou as. . ., ., immune response across all age a rou �*s. . ., ., groups. the evidence of how well the astrazeneca — groups. the evidence of how well the astrazeneca vaccine _ groups. the evidence of how well the astrazeneca vaccine works _ groups. the evidence of how well the astrazeneca vaccine works in - groups. the evidence of how well the astrazeneca vaccine works in people | astrazeneca vaccine works in people over 65 is limited, but leading scientists here say they are confident it will give strong protection. our medical editor fergus walshjoins me. lots to talk about today, in particular, vaccines. let's start with this new one that will be produced in stockton—on—tees. yes. produced in stockton-on-tees. yes, stunninu produced in stockton-on-tees. yes, stunning results _ produced in stockton-on-tees. yes, stunning results came _ produced in stockton—on—tees. ye: stunning results came very late last night, and what really caught my attention was the fact that this vaccine proved nearly 86% effective against the deal uk variant. this vaccine was not designed with that in mind, but it shows the cross protection that it gave. so, stunning results, absolutely stunning results, absolutely stunning results, absolutely stunning results, and as you say, it
will be produced in stockton—on—tees. we should not get ahead of ourselves. novavax needs to submit its final dossier to the uk regulator and they told me very late last night this will not happen for a few weeks. they want to get a bit more data in, so it could be several weeks before they do that. the regulator the nhra has been doing a rolling review of their data so far, but i think what we need to expect with this vaccine is that it will not be on stream for a few months yet. in fact, not be on stream for a few months yet. infact, most likely, it will be the yet. in fact, most likely, it will be the vaccine that the younger people get, which will come on stream may be in a big way assuming, and we should not really assume, that it and we should not really assume, thatitis and we should not really assume, that it is approved, probably in the second half of the year. meanwhile, the wrangling over the oxford astrazeneca— the wrangling over the oxford astrazene . ., . . . ., , astrazeneca vaccine continues with the eumpean _ astrazeneca vaccine continues with the european union _ astrazeneca vaccine continues with the european union and _ astrazeneca vaccine continues with the european union and also - astrazeneca vaccine continues with i the european union and also germany casting doubt on whether it is really that effective for people
over 65. why is their view so different from the uk? n over 65. why is their view so different from the uk? i suspect there is a little _ different from the uk? i suspect there is a little bit _ different from the uk? i suspect there is a little bit of— different from the uk? i suspect there is a little bit of what - different from the uk? i suspect there is a little bit of what some j there is a little bit of what some might describe as vaccine nationalism going on here. the german vaccine advisory committee, because all countries have their own vaccine advisory committees, have taken a different view from the uk's, which is called thejcvi, and they say because they are right to point out there's very little effectiveness dative and older people, they would rather it was not, now, used in those aged 65 and above. no questions about its safety. in fact, there were fewer side effects in older people in the trials than in younger people. but behind that, you have to also remember that germany is the headquarters of bion tech and the
german government put a lot of money into the pfizer bion tech vaccine, and they have done a separate deal from the eu to get extra doses of that vaccine, so they should have enough of that to cover their 65 plus population, and very interesting and slightly political i know it, i think, that they made that organisation yesterday, that organisation, that committee, before today's meeting of the european medicines agency, which will decide whether to grant a licence eu wide for the astrazeneca vaccine. for the moment, for the astrazeneca vaccine. for the moment. thank— for the astrazeneca vaccine. for the moment, thank you _ for the astrazeneca vaccine. for the moment, thank you very _ for the astrazeneca vaccine. for the moment, thank you very much, - for the astrazeneca vaccine. for the moment, thank you very much, our| moment, thank you very much, our medical editor fergus walsh. let's speak to our europe correspondent gavin lee, who's in brussels. where have we got to do with these talks between the eu and astrazeneca? taste talks between the eu and astrazeneca?— talks between the eu and astrazeneca? ~ ., , ., astrazeneca? we are still in a deel astrazeneca? we are still in a deeply unpleasant _ astrazeneca? we are still in a deeply unpleasant stage, - astrazeneca? we are still in a - deeply unpleasant stage, because the
pressure has not gone away. this morning, on the radio, the eu president ursula von der leyen got involved, saying that all justifications given by the boss of astrazeneca, she discounts as incorrect. the chief executive officer did an interview with an italian newspaper in which he said two things, that it was bad luck, that there are different yields produced by the vaccine cultures, and at their belgian site, they had had a very bad yield, and the belgian and netherlands sites supply the eu. the uk sites supply the uk first. he also said the contract was only ever delivery based on best efforts. what ursula von der leyen said was, nonsense. it is crystal clear, she said, in the contract, that best efforts only applied if astrazeneca could not actually produce the vaccine in the first place. she said that is discounted and also it stipulates explicitly that the eu has access to these uk sites. she wants this contract, she
said, today published immediately and is asking astrazeneca to do so. so that is where we are with that debate today. the european commissionerforjustice debate today. the european commissioner forjustice also speaking on the radio this morning, saying the way the eu have worked, getting a contract together, he didn't want to see vaccine war, but he argued may be the uk does now want to see one with the way this is turning out. so political words are becoming more hostile. for the moment, thank you very much. we will see whether we get details of that contract if astrazeneca agree. professor paul heath was the chief investigator of the uk novavax vaccine trial from st george's, university of london. reasons to celebrate. we are always glad of a bit of good news. tell us about the success of your trial so far. . ~' , ., about the success of your trial so far. ., ,, , about the success of your trial so far. ., , ~ about the success of your trial so far. ., , . ., far. thank you, absolutely. we are deliahted far. thank you, absolutely. we are delighted with _ far. thank you, absolutely. we are delighted with the _ far. thank you, absolutely. we are delighted with the results, - far. thank you, absolutely. we are delighted with the results, and - far. thank you, absolutely. we are delighted with the results, and i i delighted with the results, and i thinkjust summarised, we have very
high efficacy against covid—19, 89%, and really pleased to show efficacy against the uk variant. up until this trial produced its results, we weren't certain of that, but indeed, very high efficacy, so we have 15,000 participants in this trial who are still being followed up, of course, so this trial is ongoing and will continue to produce results, so this is an interim analysis that is being done. we willfully this is an interim analysis that is being done. we will fully recruit to the trial, which will be around 100 cases of covid—19 over the next couple of weeks and the full results and publication will follow after that, but we are very delighted with the results and this is really a tribute to first of all the more than 15,000 participants in the trial, but also the investigators from across the uk and 33 sites with
the fantastic support of the research arm of the nhs and the vaccines task force. if research arm of the nhs and the vaccines task force.— vaccines task force. if you can ex - ress vaccines task force. if you can exnress it _ vaccines task force. if you can exnress it in — vaccines task force. if you can express it in terms _ vaccines task force. if you can express it in terms lay - vaccines task force. if you can express it in terms lay folk - vaccines task force. if you can i express it in terms lay folk would understand, how does your vaccine work and does this set it apart in some ways from others? curiously, actually, the vaccine technology with the novavax vaccine is a fairly traditional one, so essentially, it is a protein taken from the virus, called the spike protein, which i think everybody will be familiar with now, the spike protein, and it isjoint to will be familiar with now, the spike protein, and it is joint to what is called an adjuvant, something that enhances the immune response, and thatis enhances the immune response, and that is the vaccine. so a fairly traditional vaccine platform similar to, for example, the influenza vaccine, which is also protein is joined to an adjuvant. so, more traditional, certainly then the rna
and viral vector vaccines of the pfizer moderne and astrazeneca vaccines. a technology we are familiar with, vaccines. a technology we are familiarwith, but vaccines. a technology we are familiar with, but one that remains extremely effective, and the other thing about the way this is done is that it can be scaled up very quickly to very large volumes of vaccine and also adapted and novavax is already looking at modifications to the vaccine, for example, to be able to cover fully the south african variance, and of course, potentially there will be other variants, so really close surveillance for the emergence of new variance is important, but all of this means this technology, as with the others we now have, means we can now stay ahead of the virus in producing vaccines that will remain effective against covid—19. finally and briefly, if you can, there is concern now in some
countries about whether certain vaccines are appropriate for all age groups. how confident are you that yours will be? it is groups. how confident are you that yours will be?— yours will be? it is a great question. _ yours will be? it is a great question, and _ yours will be? it is a great question, and i— yours will be? it is a great question, and i should - yours will be? it is a great i question, and i should stress yours will be? it is a great - question, and i should stress what we have here is interim data, so at the moment, there is a relatively small proportion of cases that occur in the elderly, but in total in this 15,000 participant trial, 27% were over the age of 55, so i think when we have the full analysis in a couple of weeks, we will also be able to report how well this is performed in the elderly population. but we are very confident because of the extremely good immune responses that we see in recipients that it will also be effective in all groups, including the elderly and those with underlying other risk factors. ., , ., ., ., factors. professor paul heath, great to have some _ factors. professor paul heath, great to have some promising _ factors. professor paul heath, great to have some promising news - factors. professor paul heath, great to have some promising news to - factors. professor paul heath, great i to have some promising news to share with everybody. thank you for
joining us. with everybody. thank you for joining ne— schools in wales could start to re—open to all pupils after the february half—term, if covid infection rates continue to fall in the coming weeks. the welsh government says it will work with schools on a phased return from the 22nd of february. wales first minister this morning gave an idea of which pupils might be the first to return to the classroom. it will be a matter of selecting priority groups. there is a strong case for having the very youngest children back in school. they are not able to learn online and remotely. and the risk of them contracting or passing on coronavirus is the least of all. but we do also want to see if it is possible to have young people who are sitting for qualifications, particularly those where there are practical aspects to those examinations, vocational qualifications, and in our schools and colleges, we would like to see them back in the classroom in small
doses, not as they would have been before. tomos morgan is in cardiff for us. this will be music to the ears of many parents. yes, it will be. it has been one of the main talking points all year, really, since the lockdowns across the uk were put into effectjust before christmas. wales, really, before christmas. wales, really, before christmas, had the worst transmission and case rates of all the uk nations. since then, since lockdown has been put in effect, we are starting to see the positive coming out of that. transmission rates in wales are now going down. the positivity rate, those testing positive across wales, is now coming down. there is a slight easing on the nhs and welsh hospitals, and also, interestingly, after a slow start, wales now leads the table when it comes to daily vaccination rates of the population across the
uk. so all of those things together have come together, coupled together, really, to make way for this decision today by the first minister and the welsh government to allow schools to partially reopen on the 22nd on a phased return, as he mentions. it will be the youngest going back to school first, for two reasons. one, online e—learning is difficult for children of a younger age, for obvious reasons, and as well, the transmission risk for passing on the virus in that age group is so much lower. but he is keen as well to try and get some high school aged children back in, those who are of exam grades as well. but he has caveat hit all of this by saying, the only way this go ahead is if all those things we talk about, the transmission rates, infection rates in hospital rates continue to go on the right direction.
thank you very much. well, how is the nhs holding up in wales? we can speak now to darren hughes, director of the welsh nhs confederation, the membership body which represents nhs organisations in wales, whojoins me from pencoed. darren, thank you very much for joining us. how much pressure as the nhs under, even though we are seeing these infection rates drop a bit? taste these infection rates drop a bit? we are these infection rates drop a bit? - are seeing falls in infection rates, and we are seeing a fall in the number of people in hospital with covid and associated problems coming down, but it is still under enormous pressure. approximately one third of hospital beds across wales are taken up hospital beds across wales are taken up by hospital beds across wales are taken up by people needing treatment for covid. we are also seeing itu at 160-170% of its covid. we are also seeing itu at 160—170% of its normal capacity, so pressure is still very high, but going on the right direction, which is excellent news.—
going on the right direction, which is excellent news. months and months now, nhs is excellent news. months and months new. nhs staff — is excellent news. months and months now, nhs staff have _ is excellent news. months and months now, nhs staff have been _ is excellent news. months and months now, nhs staff have been under- now, nhs staff have been under enormous pressure. what sort of extra support are you offering them to help them through these next few weeks. ﬁgs to help them through these next few weeks. �* , , ., to help them through these next few weeks. a to help them through these next few weeks. , to help them through these next few weeks. as you say, this has gone on for over a year— weeks. as you say, this has gone on for over a year now, _ weeks. as you say, this has gone on for over a year now, with _ weeks. as you say, this has gone on for over a year now, with people - for over a year now, with people being affected not only at work but while at home, because the area of wales under the most pressure —— the areas under most pressure arrows also the communities affected when people are at work, so what we're doing is, the employers are putting in lots of support, counselling, helplines, doing all we can to support them. health education improvement wales supporting people as well, and working with the voluntary sector to provide people someone to talk to and all the support they need.— someone to talk to and all the support they need. people are startin: support they need. people are starting to _ support they need. people are starting to get _ support they need. people are starting to get their _ support they need. people are starting to get their vaccines, | support they need. people are i starting to get their vaccines, of course. that is a great relief to many people, but what does it mean in terms of the kind of lockdown rules that they still need to abide by? rules that they still need to abide b ? , ., , , , ., by? obviously, they mentioned earlier the _ by? obviously, they mentioned earlier the pressure _
by? obviously, they mentioned earlier the pressure of - by? obviously, they mentioned earlier the pressure of the - by? obviously, they mentioned i earlier the pressure of the system is under, it's important to remember the vaccination programme is also predominantly run by nhs staff, so they are working hard to provide care and do their normal dayjobs during the vaccination programme as well. but as more people are protected from the virus, obviously, this is on the journey towards recovery. we have heard first minister today make an announcement about schools reopening, but it is the steady return to some sort of normality. but we still need people to do all we can to protect themselves and protect their families, because the system is still under pressure, but things are definitely going the right direction.— definitely going the right direction. �* , ., direction. but darren hughes from the nhs confederation _ direction. but darren hughes from the nhs confederation in - direction. but darren hughes from the nhs confederation in wales, | the nhs confederation in wales, thank you very much. schools in northern ireland will stay closed to all but vulnerable children and those of key workers until monday the 8th march at the earliest. first minister arlene foster said whether or not schools open fully on that date remains in doubt and will depend on the public health situation. ministers will review the decision in just under three weeks.
let's get more on this with our correspondent in belfast, emma vardy. emma, what are they basing this statement on?— emma, what are they basing this statement on? ~ , ., , ., statement on? well, they had planned to reo en statement on? well, they had planned to reapenjust— statement on? well, they had planned to reopen just after— statement on? well, they had planned to reopen just after the _ statement on? well, they had planned to reopen just after the february - to reopenjust after the february half term. as you say, that was pushed back to monday, march the 8th. they are basing it on, although we are seeing new cases of the virus coming down, the pressures on hospitals remain really high, thanks to that big spike just after christmas, and the effect of that is being seen in hospitals now. ministers here reminded people that actually, we have seen the highest ever numbers of patients in intensive care this week. so although things are looking better in the community, with the r eight coming down, the numbers of patients in hospital will remain high for a number of weeks to come, so it was pretty inevitable that they would push back the reopening date for schools. anotherfactor push back the reopening date for schools. another factor in this is that the new variant of the virus,
which is more transmissible, is increasingly common here in northern ireland too, which is something that played a part in their decision. in the meantime, the vaccine roll—out is progressing. a new online booking system has gone live now for people aged 65—69, and the hope is that everybody over 65 will have been offered a job by the end of february. so they will keep these things under review, and the number of people who have had the vaccine will be a factor in looking at lifting restrictions further down the line, but at the moment, with the line, but at the moment, with the pressure on hospitals continuing, there was really no way ministers would be able to look at reopening schools in the next couple of weeks. they said that was a decision taken reluctantly and they know people will be disappointed, and arlene foster was saying she understands the pressure of being a mother. the kitchen table, she said, is no substitute for the classroom. but people will have to continue home—schooling children for a little
while longer. children of key workers and vulnerable children are still attending classrooms at the moment here in northern ireland. it works out at about 9% of pupils here at the moment. but if things stay on track for things to reopen on the 8th of march, even then, ministers reminded people it might have to be only some pupils that are prioritised and, particularly those taking exams. emma, for the moment, thank you very much. ministers in england are being urged to consider allowing some pupils to repeat a year if they are not happy with their exam grades. the call by the education policy institute think tank comes as the government ends its consultation on how students will be awarded grades this summer — after exams were cancelled for a second year. and there are concerns that some pupils are being hampered by an inability to access lessons because they still don't have access to laptops or affordable broadband. fiona lamdin has been looking at the "digital divide". it's a life changer, and it's also a life—saver. this was the moment when these ten—year—old identical
twins were given a donated laptop. it made a big impact on our lives because you can get more education and you can get more work done. and we can see our teacher on the online lessons at zoom. live lessons are amazing, actually. sometimes we do fun stuff. it is notjust a lack of devices which is making it hard for some children to study. many families are struggling to get online. near the english—welsh border live the bennetts. they're dairy farmers. 0ur internet isn't so good, so we don't get to do so much stuff. for their children, drew and megan, home—schooling is a struggle. with maths and english, it's really hard because we can't watch the videos. we just have to do it on a sheet of paper. their broadband is so slow, live lessons are out of the question. we can't get onto a zoom session.
we don't get to do any of the live lessons or links to tutorial videos they could watch. it is simply paper, printed out stuff. are you worried they are falling behind? i think they are because they don't get that interaction from their teacher. they can't get 4g reception. to cable it from where there is a signal would cost thousands, something they can't afford. 0fcom found that 6% of households have difficulties paying their broadband, while 5% of families struggle with their mobile phone bill. this is kedra and her family in bristol. she can't afford broadband or mobile data. her seven children haven't been able to do any home learning. i don't have anything. i don't have internet and computer. has it been very hard? very, very hard. the internet is there for money i don't have. as we were filming,
this charity not only donated a laptop but a 4g dongle. families are having to choose between food, heating, or internet connection. if they have young people in the family that need education, that's quite a tough choice to make. the department for education say they have given over 50,000 4g routers to schools or disadvantaged children. after missing out on nearly a month of education, kedra's children can now restart studying. to donate a laptop or for more details on getting online go to bbc.co.uk/makeadifference the united arab emirates has been added to the "red list" of countries from where travel to the uk is banned — along with burundi and rwanda. the measure is aimed at stopping the spread of the south african variant and comes into force from 1pm today. the uae ban comes after criticism
of british social media influencers visiting dubai in recent weeks. the hollywood actress, cicely tyson — who's best known for her portrayal of strong african—american characters over a career that spanned seven decades — has died at the age of 96. her breakthrough came in 1972 in the film sounder, which was set in depression—era louisiana, for which she won a golden globe and an oscar nomination. she received the presidential medal of freedom in 2016. the duchess of cambridge has revealed that parenting during lockdown has left her "exhausted". catherine, whose children prince louis, princess charlotte and prince george are aged two, five and seven, was on a video conference with other parents when she spoke about the challenges of both home—schooling and home—hairdressing.
we had to take on additional roles that perhaps those around us in our communities or our lives would have perhaps supported us with. so i've become a hairdresser this lockdown, much to my children's horror! in fact, i have become teacher, you know, and i think i personally feel pulled in so many different directions, and you try your best to do everything, but at the end of the day, i do feel exhausted. the duchess of cambridge. now it's time for a look at the weather with sarah keith lucas. hello. many of us more rain last night. there are some big paddles, lots of standing water around today and still plenty of flood warnings in force. we have got some rain and some hill snow around but through today it will be easing away and it's another mild day in the south before turning colder into the weekend. one or two rain showers across parts of northern england, some snow flurries across parts of scotland for a time. some sunshine for the north of scotland and south east england later on as well and temperature somewhere between about four in aberdeen to a mild 12 in plymouth.
most of the showers ease away through this evening and tonight as cold air pushes south and the next area of rain then moves into the south—west of england and wales, bringing a soggy start to saturday here. clear and colder conditions further north, could be —7 across rural parts of scotland. blizzards possible as we see that rain bumping into the cold air, turning to snow for some of us, particularly over the high ground of wales, the chilterns for instance, as well but mainly falling as rain towards the far south. clearer and colder to the north of that. bye for now. hello this is bbc news with me, martine croxall. the headlines: a new vaccine produced in the uk has been found to be highly effective against coronavirus, including the british variant. the president of the european commission insists astrazeneca's contract with the bloc is binding and the company must fulfill its contract with the eu, as the european medicines agency meets to decide whether to approve the jab.
lockdown in wales will last for three more weeks at least — but children could return to schools there after the february half—term. around 300,000 people are expected to leave hong kong for britain using a new visa route which opens on sunday. the rspb launches its big garden birdwatch, where members of the public are asked to spend one hour counting and recording the birds they see from their home. and coming up this hour... we'll meet a nurse who gave birth nearly three months ago while seriously ill with covid—19, who has held her daughterfor the first time after beiing discharged from hospital. sport and for a full round up, from the bbc sport centre, here's mike bushell. good to see you, thank you. liverpool's mini crisis is over, according to their managerjurgen klopp. the champions returned to winning
ways in the premier league with a 3—1victory at tottenham last night. natalie pirks was watching. a stuttering start, a lack of energy, and zero goals. yet liverpool's league form this year is pretty much all of us right now. and it looked like son had made things much worse for them straightaway. as he wheeled away in celebration, though, var drew the dreaded line. 0ffside by a heel. there was no time to draw breath. mane looked menacing and, on the stroke of half—time, liverpool finally made their pressure count. their first league goal of 2021 was swiftly followed by their second. seconds into the second half. with harry kane off injured, tottenham needed to respond very quickly and, boy, did hojbjerg get the memo. what a way to score your first goal for the club! this was frenetic. mo salah thought he'd scored, but var ruled it out for handball. liverpool though were unperturbed and mane got the goal he deserved. finished off by sadio mane brilliantly. 3—1 liverpool, then, and in a season of twists and turns, the champions look to be
getting their groove back. natalie pirks, bbc news. the main difference between this game and other games is that we scored the goals. that helps massively, not only for results, but for the momentum in the game. so it's like, you try and you try and you try, and you miss massive chances against burnley and people below, and you think, 0k, great. 0bviously, we'll have to wait a little bit longer for this kind of stuff. and tonight we knocked the wall down. the loss of harry kane is a real blow for spurs — he was taken off at half time with injuries to both ankles and jose mourinho says his captain is likely to miss the next few weeks. two a n kles. the first was a bad tackle. i think was thiago, then the second one, i didn't know well. but two injuries in both ankles, the second one worse than the first one. and a few weeks.
how many? i don't know. football clubs are stepping up their efforts to help their fans in need during this latest lockdown. at wolves, nuno espirito santo has donated £250,000 to help tackle food poverty in the area. nuno said he wanted to give something back to people who are struggling through the pandemic. it's part of the wolves foundation's half—a—million pound, feed our pack, project. scottish golfer robert macintyre, has taken the lead at the dubai desert classic. he's been impressing, a lot of people recently, including europe's ryder cup captain padraig harrington, who'll have enjoyed macintyre's second round of 68. that took him to 9—under—par, two shots clear of the field. tennis fans were allowed back for the first time in almost a year for an exhibition event in adelaide, where some players have been in quarantine ahead of the australian open. let's just appreciate the sound of a 4000 strong crowd. djokovic! cheering
what a welcome for world number one novak djokovic, who pulled out of his match with a blistered hand, but then appeared in the second set, taking overfrom filip krajinovic and beating yannik sinner. he said he was sorry he didn't play from the start but he hoped everyone enjoyed the show. i'm sure all of those 4000 dead, as we enjoyed hearing the sound of the crowd once more. that is all the sport for now. mike, thank you. —— those 4000 did. britain formally left the european union a year ago, but it was only last month that it came out of the key economic institutions — the eu's single market and customs union. that was a pivotal moment of change for businesses on both sides. just days ahead of that deadline britain and the eu did manage to seal an agreement. but it has not all been plain sailing — even allowing for disruption caused by the pandemic. 0ur economics correspondent andrew walker reports.
a month ago, the european union and britain signed a trade deal. here is, folks, this is it. it means british and eu goods can be exported from one to the other free of tariffs or trade taxes. but there are new barriers. the issue is most acute for businesses that deal with perishable goods, such as fresh seafood where a host of new checks and paperwork are required to sell into the eu. it was a very serious problem for this scottish supplier who spoke to the bbc in mid—january. tens of thousands of pounds a week that we are losing. we can't continue to lose that. we sent stuff to europe last week, it took five days to arrive. it arrived dead and rotten. even within the uk, the special arrangements for northern ireland have led to delays and some supermarkets did initially struggle to fill their shelves and there are still problems for some retailers. in england, trickers, an upmarket shoemaker, is facing new difficulties with paperwork and tax. the managing director was relieved about the trade deal.
what we hadn't been prepared for, and i think this applies to any business in the uk, is all the extra costs that have come from this. the barriers are also affecting some goods going from the eu to the uk. some suppliers, mainly small ones, are temporarily refusing to ship to britain. i've got the website here of one in finland that supplies outdoor clothing. at the top of its home page it says, "no delivery to the uk just now". here's a similar message from a belgian beer supplier. some of the disruption is surely short—term. businesses will adapt. the british prime minister says the deal is a success. we've taken back control of our laws and our destiny. of every jot and tittle of our regulation in a way that is complete and unfettered. that sovereignty question is central for brexit supporters but it comes at the cost of more difficult trade with britain's biggest commercial partner. andrew walker, bbc news.
well, as we heard, businesses trading with the eu now have to fill out customs declarations and some products need special licenses or certificates. so, how are uk firms coping? amanda argent is founder and director of the soup brand, soupologie. lovely to have you with us, you make fresh vegan soup, some in the uk and some in the republic of ireland, how have you been affected by brexit so far? ~ �* , , ., , , far? well, it's been quite a steep learnin: far? well, it's been quite a steep learning curve, _ far? well, it's been quite a steep learning curve, i _ far? well, it's been quite a steep learning curve, i would _ far? well, it's been quite a steep learning curve, i would say. - far? well, it's been quite a steep learning curve, i would say. if. far? well, it's been quite a steep learning curve, i would say. if i i learning curve, i would say. if i just give you an example. before the sist just give you an example. before the 31st of december, we were just simply sending an e—mail to a transport company in ireland and they would organise the whole thing and the very next day, we would be delivering the vegan soups and ready meals we had to tesco, waitrose etc and it would basically take about two minutes about time to organise.
since the 1st of january, there is a whole load of admin and organisation that goes on. we have to get customs clearance and that costs £60. that is an import clearance we need. it export clearance we need, each one costing £60 and it takes about a day of our time to really organise and manage the whole thing because if there is one slight problem with the form, then the whole set of goods is wasted. ., ., ., , ., ., , , wasted. how often has that happened, that thin . s wasted. how often has that happened, that things had — wasted. how often has that happened, that things had gone _ wasted. how often has that happened, that things had gone to _ wasted. how often has that happened, that things had gone to waste? - wasted. how often has that happened, that things had gone to waste? well, i that things had gone to waste? well, in the first two _ that things had gone to waste? well, in the first two weeks _ that things had gone to waste? well, in the first two weeks of— that things had gone to waste? well, in the first two weeks of the - that things had gone to waste? all in the first two weeks of the month, it was very difficult. particularly sending our products from the uk into northern ireland. the products were sat on the lorry for about two weeks and at the end of the dale all had to be thrown and discarded because they are perishable goods. so they have a very good shelf life
but not as much as two weeks sitting on a lorry. ﬁst but not as much as two weeks sitting on a [or . �* ., , ., but not as much as two weeks sitting onalor . �* ., ., ., on a lorry. at the moment you have a bit of a grace — on a lorry. at the moment you have a bit of a grace period, _ on a lorry. at the moment you have a bit of a grace period, haven't - on a lorry. at the moment you have a bit of a grace period, haven't you, i bit of a grace period, haven't you, flexibility about declaring imports? but that changes on july the 1st. what sort of help are you going to need to make that change? weill. what sort of help are you going to need to make that change? well, they thin is, at need to make that change? well, they thing is. at the — need to make that change? well, they thing is, at the moment, _ need to make that change? well, they thing is, at the moment, as _ need to make that change? well, they thing is, at the moment, as you - thing is, at the moment, as you quite rightly say, when goods come into this country, the government has allowed for people to declare those imports as and when they can, up those imports as and when they can, up to six months. so we, for example, choose to declare the products coming in as they come in but other companies are staggering it. they might declare itjust once a week or once a month or decide to do it at the end of the entire six months. from the 1st ofjuly, everyone has to declare those imports at the point they come into the country. our concern is if it's the country. our concern is if it's the infrastructure in place to actually cope with all the companies importing all the goods on a daily
basis? i'm not convinced, based on the logjams that occurred at the start of the year. i have to say, we are not convinced that come the 1st ofjuly things will be very smooth and that, once again, products are going to be held up at ports unable to be distributed to the various supermarkets and customers. it supermarkets and customers. it certainly tests your ingenuity, doesn't it? amanda argent, founder and director of soupologie, thank you for talking to us. a nurse who gave birth nearly three months ago while seriously ill with covid—19 has held her daughter for the first time. eva gicain had the long—awaited reunion with her baby, elleana, after being discharged from the royal papworth hospital in cambridge. nikki fox reports. celebrating a belated christmas... the mother who spent the first two months of her baby girl's life not being able to see or touch her. nurse eva gicain was discharged from royal papworth hospital, after spending weeks unconscious on a machine that helped her breathe.
the last thing i remember is i was in the ward and i was a bit shaky and had difficulty breathing. then the doctors came and that's all. i didn't remember anything. eva was 35 weeks pregnant when admitted to hospital with covid. she had an emergency cesarean section at basildon before being transferred to royal papworth, 60 miles away from her baby. eva was placed on an ecmo machine. it's like an artificial lung. 0nly five hospitals in the country have them. after time on a neonatal intensive care unit, elleana went home to her father. the first time i really saw my daughter in person, my tears were just falling. very emotional at that time. all those time since day one, i'm very emotional. and then... yeah, that's it. sorry.
i just want to thank basildon and papworth hospital. i was given the best care and without them, and without their care, i think i wouldn't be here. a family reunited against all odds. nikki fox, bbc news. the headlines on bbc news... a new vaccine produced in the uk has been found to be highly effective against coronavirus, including the british variant. the president of the european commission insists astrazeneca's contract with the bloc is binding and the company must fulfil its contract with the eu, as the european medicines agency meets to decide whether to approve the jab. lockdown in wales will last for three more weeks at least — but children could return to schools there after the february half—term. the 30,000 volunteers who have signed up to help the nhs with the roll—out of the vaccines are to be offered the jab themselves.
the charity, stjohn ambulance, says they will be classed as frontline health workers. 0ur health correspondent laura foster reports. black lights, fake arms and a lot of personal protective equipment. all of this is needed to transform these volunteers and to vaccinate us. even if you are the skinniest person imaginable, and bearing in mind some of these elderly people are very frail, very skinny, you still have muscle there. no—one here is a medical professional. they just all want to help. sarah normally works as a yoga teacher. signed up to do it but i've never injected — signed up to do it but i've never injected anyone before so it is nice to put— injected anyone before so it is nice to put it _ injected anyone before so it is nice to put it into practice. i live on my own — to put it into practice. i live on my own so _ to put it into practice. i live on my own so i'm looking forward to getting _ my own so i'm looking forward to getting out and seeing some people. esme has just started studying medicine. this is the first time she has been able to get any practical experience i'm infavourof i'm in favour of people getting the vaccine. i don't want to sit at
home, i want to facilitate and help people get it. before this point, all the volunteers have done extensive online learning, but this is the first time they are actually picking up syringes and interacting with other people. it means that the first time they give the vaccination will be in a dedicated vaccination centre. stjohn's ambulance service needs to train 30,000 volunteers to help the nhs with the vaccine roll—out. because the volunteers are now considered to be front line health workers, they now fall into a priority group, it will be given at the covid vaccine. i hate the phrase just a volunteer. getting the vaccine out there by these people, these volunteers, who are well—trained, well qualified, and are to deliver it, should reassure the general public they are getting as good care as they could get anywhere. meanwhile, the roll—out of the covid vaccine continues to ramp up. yesterday, a 78—year—old from smethwick was one of the first people to get their first
jab at a supermarket. the government has set itself a target to give everyone in the top four priority groups their first dose before the middle of february. that's front line health care workers, anyone deemed to be extremely clinically vulnerable, ca re care home residents and staff. as well as anybody over the age of 70. i'm happy to get the first one done, looking forward to the next one. i feel good. yes, i'm glad i've had it. i feel better that i've had it. but these volunteers will be needed far beyond february. the aim remains to offer the vaccine to every adult in the uk by the autumn. laura foster, bbc news, hull. a number of stjohn ambulance volunteers have come forward to help with the rollout, including lucy aerts. we can speak to her now. thank you forjoining us. why did you want to be part of this?— be part of this? good morning. a coule of be part of this? good morning. a couple of reasons, _ be part of this? good morning. a
couple of reasons, really. - be part of this? good morning. a couple of reasons, really. beingl be part of this? good morning. a| couple of reasons, really. being a volunteer for stjohn couple of reasons, really. being a volunteerfor stjohn but couple of reasons, really. being a volunteer for stjohn but also a few years ago, the nhs saved my life. i want to give back to them in a way they gave my life back. tell want to give back to them in a way they gave my life back.— they gave my life back. tell us about the _ they gave my life back. tell us about the training _ they gave my life back. tell us about the training you - they gave my life back. tell us about the training you have i they gave my life back. tell us i about the training you have had. away from your role as a stjohn ambulance volunteer you are an hr manager, so sticking needles in people isn't sort of what you are automatically trained to do? absolutely not. i think as an hr manager, people skills are quite relevant in the role we are performing. in regards to sticking needles into people, the training has been intensive, online and in person as well. it is not like we are let loose, we still get extensive training in the centre. we are viewed by a health care professional, whether it is a nurse, doctor or registrar, to make sure the technique we've used and the things we have learned our good. so
we are observed and the training is excellent. the we are observed and the training is excellent. , , ., ., ., excellent. the first time you had to do it for real. _ excellent. the first time you had to do it for real, how _ excellent. the first time you had to do it for real, how was _ excellent. the first time you had to do it for real, how was that? - excellent. the first time you had to do it for real, how was that? i - do it for real, how was that? i think because of the training do it for real, how was that? i think because of the training we received, the confidence levels were there. of course i was nervous, it's something i've never done before but we never tell that to the patient that we have in front of us. it's just something we get on with. for me, it was... 0nce just something we get on with. for me, it was... once the first one is done, you get a good feel for it and the rest was much better after that. how many people are you managing to vaccinate every time you are on shift? it vaccinate every time you are on shift? ., , , , ~ shift? it really differs. i think the first week, _ shift? it really differs. i think the first week, we _ shift? it really differs. i think the first week, we did - shift? it really differs. i think the first week, we did all- shift? it really differs. i think the first week, we did all the| shift? it really differs. i think - the first week, we did all the over 80s. so while you want to get people in and out very quickly, it's the first time they have got out in a long time, so people want to chat. there are lots of layers to take off so it's really hard to say how many people you vaccinate in one go. i think there was one friday morning that we had a particularly busy shift and i think personally i did
51 that day, so i felt quite accomplished. i 51 that day, so i felt quite accomplished.— 51 that day, so i felt quite accomplished. 51 that day, so i felt quite accomlished. . , accomplished. i am sure you did, ractice accomplished. i am sure you did, practice makes _ accomplished. i am sure you did, practice makes perfect! - accomplished. i am sure you did, practice makes perfect! what - accomplished. i am sure you did, practice makes perfect! what is i accomplished. i am sure you did, i practice makes perfect! what is the reaction from people? i hear these vaccination centres are immensely well set up. people can't speak highly enough. what is their reaction to you when you come in? they are incredibly grateful, for starters. we have done the over 70s, the over 80s and the vulnerable population and they are very grateful. they say, you've given me my life back, i had to go out in the next couple of months. it's very rewarding to do in that aspect because you get to hear lovely stories. they don't want to leave your vaccination bows, theyjust want to have a chat. they get dressed up in their glad rags, the best clothes i have because it's the first time out in a while. it’s first time out in a while. it's really nice _ first time out in a while. it's really nice to _ first time out in a while. it's really nice to deal _ first time out in a while. it's really nice to deal with them. isn't that a sign of the times?! lucy, a very satisfying thing to volunteer
for i'm sure, thank you for talking to us about it. people are being urged to count the birds in their gardens this weekend. it's part of an annual survey by the rspb — and with most of us locked down at home, there's likely to be an even bigger response than usual. john maguire is twitching in bristol. trying to attract the birds himself, john? , , ., ., trying to attract the birds himself, john? , i. ., ., . , trying to attract the birds himself, john? , ., ., . , ., john? yes. if you are watching us of their a few — john? yes. if you are watching us of their a few minutes _ john? yes. if you are watching us of their a few minutes ago _ john? yes. if you are watching us of their a few minutes ago we - john? yes. if you are watching us of| their a few minutes ago we managed to get a robin to come and feed from my hand. we will see if we can do it again ina my hand. we will see if we can do it again in a couple of minutes. what they normally do later in the year is put swift boxes under the eaves but they won't be here until the summer time at the moment, it's about attracting garden birds. a couple of features that will attract birds, a pond, lots of bird feeders, some muesli for our feathered friends and water is really important also. a variety of food will attract the birds to your garden. we have seen a huge decrease
in the number of birds over the last 40 years or so, since the big garden birdwatch has been taking place but this is a very important weekend for the rspb to try and gather as much information and as much data as possible. let's face it, what else are we going to do? if ever there was a perfect activity for lockdown, the rspb�*s big garden bird watch has to be it. people are looking for activities to do, and this is a really lovely one to do. whether you're going to do it on your own, or whether you're going to line up the family at the window, we love to do it as a family, don't we? it's an activity that we always look forward to doing. even more so, we're all realising now how valuable nature is for our mental health and well—being. many more people are out and about, just enjoying nature and what it can give to us. for miranda's son, 0liver, the simple act of looking out of the window can be a welcome break from a computer screen in between virtual lessons. when i can, i try and get some extra
time, just in a break time, five minutes between a lesson, come downstairs, and just see what's happening, really. this time of year, quite commonly on the ground, there is a robin and they have a lovely song. i quite enjoy seeing those at break time, or lunchtime, or something. despite the name, this is notjust about gardens. the rspb wants to involve anyone and everyone, who can spot birds from a window, from a nearby park, or evenjust on a bird feeder or a tree. there is no need for a garden, in this case, 0k. if you are lucky enough, as i am, to have a little balcony space, you can definitely set up some bird feeders here. nadeem perera is one of the founders of flock together. our primary focus is to combat the underrepresentation of people of colour in the natural world. i don't have a garden. i'm fortunate enough, at the top of my road, i do have hackney marshes, where we are today, so i can walk all of five minutes. it is even as simple as looking through your window.
if you can manage to spot some birds there, go for it, you know? spend a couple of minutes, halfan hour orso, looking out of the window, seeing what you can see, and you might well surprise yourself. you don't need a fancy pair of binoculars or anything either. all you need is a pair of eyes, really. mya—rose craig was the youngest person to spot half of the world's bird species. she is passionate about wildlife and persuading people that you don't have to be an expert to enjoy what's on your doorstep. the great thing about birds is how easy they are. they're everywhere. if you do stick some food out, you can stick out some sunflower seeds, stick out some peanuts. you will almost certainly get birds turning up. it's that separation from daily life that i think is so important, and so appealing for everyone that is getting involved at the moment. today, mya is launching a podcast, with her first guest, the wildlife presenter, chris packham. ifound more simple, commonplace, everyday things on my doorstep that
i basically haven't seen in those 15 years. i enjoyed them more than ever. just to prove you're never too young, seven—year—old ellie mae took this shot of a robin. last year, the bird watch saw half a million people take part, recording 8 million sightings. it is a massive citizen science project, which provides an unrivalled amount of data, then allowing the rspb to understand which birds are thriving, surviving, or under threat. it's an hour where we can feel we are leaving the lockdown world and connecting with the natural world. ijust i just have ijust have some mealworms in my hand. i will hold the mall because we can hear our tame robin in this garden. he is hiding in one of the trees so he might come down if we're lucky in the next minute or so and have a little feed. so a good idea
to have a variety of foods. we have mealworms, some peanuts, some sunflower seeds. and the fat balls so it gives a variety of the birds to enjoy. also cover, as well. they like to make sure they can feed and have a look around the garden in amongst the plants without feeling as if they are too exposed. mark who owns this house tells me he has seen 21 different species of bird already this year. when you think about it, there is not a type of year where we think it will be particularly busy in that there will be a lot of bird life around but my alarm went off at 3:30 this morning and i can tell you there was quite a lot of bird sound this morning. a cacophony of the dawn chorus was very evident. at this time of year when it is cold and dark, it'sjust about this time of year when it is cold and dark, it's just about the only thing that cheers you up, isn't it? the big garden birdwatch, three days, it starts today, tomorrow and the next day. if you haven't had a chance to apply for one of me he has
seen 21 different species of bird already this year. when you think about it, there is not a type of year where we think it will be particularly busy in that there will be a lot of bird life around but my alarm went off at 3:30 this morning and i can tell you there was quite a lot of bird sound this morning. a cacophony of the dawn chorus was very evident. at this time of year when it is cold and dark, it's just about the only thing that cheers you up, isn't it? the big garden birdwatch, three days, it starts to tell the rspb exactly what bird species you are seeing in your garden, on your balcony or your local park. they are reminding everyone to be respectful of the rules at the moment, maintain social distancing etc. but the data really important. it's been going on 40 years and has informed conservationists as to regards what's happening with birds. i can only apologise for rob the robin not coming down and feeding but we have seen him a few times this morning. i think you got to see him in the report earlier on. i will hand you back, martin, back to you. abs, report earlier on. i will hand you back, martin, back to you. a valiant effort. back, martin, back to you. a valiant effort- the — back, martin, back to you. a valiant effort. the night _ back, martin, back to you. a valiant effort. the night meant _ back, martin, back to you. a valiant effort. the night meant we - back, martin, back to you. a valiant effort. the night meant we go - back, martin, back to you. a valiant effort. the night meant we go to i back, martin, back to you. a valiant | effort. the night meant we go to the weather, you will land on your hand. thank you, we will leave you there with your hand out and your mealworms. i with your hand out and your mealworms.— with your hand out and your mealworms. , . ., mealworms. i will be here all day! you will need _ mealworms. i will be here all day! you will need to. _ mealworms. i will be here all day! you will need to. the _ mealworms. i will be here all day! you will need to. the things - mealworms. i will be here all day!
you will need to. the things you i mealworms. i will be here all day! | you will need to. the things you do forjournalism. the weather now with sarah. hello. it's another mild day today, particularly towards the south, but as we head through into the weekend, things are going to turn colder for all of us. for some places, there's going to be some rain, some sleet and some snow. it is going to be that messy mix of rain, sleet and mainly snow over the higher ground but it's down to the fact that cold air is moving in from the north. this mild air with us at the moment gets squeezed away over the next few days and where those two air masses meet, we're seeing a developing weather front and an area of low pressure sitting towards the south—west. now, through the weekend, that will drive some rain, sleet and snow into parts of southern england and wales. whereas further north, high pressure will keep things largely dry through saturday and into sunday. but before we get to the weekend, for the remainder of today, still a few showers of rain and hill snow across parts of scotland in particular
and it is mild in the south. now, most of the showers will be easing away, so showers clearing away from the south—east. one or two continuing for parts of northern england, perhaps the odd one for wales and northern ireland. sunshine returning across the northern part of scotland, but it will still be fairly cloudy with the odd wintry flurry towards the south of scotland. 4—5 degrees here, whereas in that mild air further south, 11—12 celsius. a little bit of sunshine for the south east of england, east anglia and northern scotland later on. into the evening and overnight, two things are happening. first off, that cold, clearer air is moving its way south and this area of cloud and rain is pushing in from the south—west, bumping into that colder air. so, a mild, quite soggy start to your saturday morning in the south. much colder conditions, —7 possible, across parts of scotland, so some icy stretches. blizzards are possible, particularly across parts of wales, over the higher ground, over the midlands, for instance, as well. we'll soon see this easterly wind developing, as some of that rain turns to sleet and snow, mainly over the higher ground. down towards the south coast, it will be falling as rain. still mild here, 10 degrees in plymouth. contrast that to around four or five across parts of scotland, northern ireland and northern england. through saturday night, then, the weather fronts clear away, for a time at least.
so high pressure keeping things cold. a really chilly, crisp start to sunday morning with a widespread sharp frost. through the day, though, the next area of the rain will move in, increasingly turning to snow, particularly across wales, inland parts of england, especially over higher ground. further north and east, you should stay dry but it will be a cold day. bye for now.
this is bbc news. i'm martine croxall. these are the latest headlines in the uk and around the world. a new vaccine produced in the uk has been found to be highly effective against coronavirus, including the british variant. the novavax vaccine is effective against both the uk variant as well as the south african variant, and has shown phenomenal efficacy, and it's made in teesside. the president of the european commission insists astrazeneca's contract with the bloc is binding, and the company must fulfil its contract with the eu, as the european medicines agency meets to decide whether to approve the jab. do get in touch with your thoughts and questions about vaccines or any other stories in the programme. i'm @martinebbc on twitter. use the hashtag #bbcyourquestions