image captionThe dispute between the EU and AstraZeneca over coronavirus vaccine supply makes the lead story for many of the front pages. The i says the row has “exploded” after Brussels told the pharmaceutical company to send it jabs made in UK factories to make up for a shortfall on the continent. The EU is under fire for the slow rollout of vaccines among its member states, according to the paper.
image captionThe Daily Telegraph reports that MEPs have “stoked talk of a trade war” and threatened to block exports of the Belgian-made Pfizer vaccine to the UK. The paper says Prime Minister Boris Johnson has insisted the UK is “very confident” of its vaccine contracts and supply, which the Telegraph interprets as a rejection of calls for UK-made doses to be sent to the EU.
image captionThe Financial Times says the “bitter dispute” between the two sides is escalating and “risks unleashing an explosive post-Brexit political fight”. But allies of Mr Johnson have told the paper he wants to stop the row intensifying and sparking “vaccine nationalism”, with the prime minister publicly stressing the need for international co-operation.
image caption“No, EU can’t have our jabs!” is the headline for the Daily Mail, which says the bloc is trying to “requisition” tens of millions of doses manufactured for the UK to make up for a 75 million shortfall on the continent. The European Commission said AstraZeneca was obliged to meet its contractual obligation despite production issues at its Belgian site, the paper reports.
image captionThe Daily Express accuses Brussels of trying to “hijack” UK-made jabs. It quotes Conservative MP and Brexit supporter Peter Bone as saying the move by the EU was selfish, urging them to “wait their turn”.
image captionBritain is on a “collision course” with the EU over the issue, according to the Guardian, with the bloc’s health commissioner arguing the UK should not earn any advantage from signing a contract with AstraZeneca three months before the EU. But UK government sources have told the paper that British factories in Oxford and Staffordshire would only be free to supply other countries once they had produced 100 million doses for the local population.
image captionHowever, industry sources have told the Times the UK has more than enough coronavirus vaccines for this year and could eventually donate them to other countries. The source also dismissed demands from Brussels to divert British supplies as “political rhetoric”, saying they could not stop vaccines contracted for delivery.
image captionAway from Europe, the Daily Mirror focuses on the prime minister’s announcement that pupils will not return to schools in England before 8 March. The paper says the plan makes its campaign raising money for basic tools to help poorer children learn at home “even more crucial”.
image captionThe Metro leads with a story about a nurse who has been reunited with her baby after spending three months apart while she was being treated for coronavirus. Eva Gicain, 30, was so sick she did not even remember having a caesarean before she was put on a life support machine, the paper reports. She spent 76 days in hospital before being discharged this month, when she was able to hold her daughter, Elleana, for the first time.
image captionThe Sun leads with a story about pop star Rita Ora, reporting that her team offered a restaurant £5,000 to break Covid rules to host her 30th birthday party. In a statement to police, the venue’s boss said he was contacted by a representative of the singer offering the money for use of the premises for “drinks and nibbles”, the paper reports. Ora has previously apologised for breaching lockdown restrictions after attending the party but her team have not responded to the Sun’s latest story.
image captionThe Daily Star has a story about a “game-changing” anal Covid test, which Chinese researchers say is more accurate than traditional tests. “If you thought mouth swabs were nasty, look away now,” the paper warns, alongside the headline “squeaky bum time”.