MANY European countries are now bracing themselves for a third wave of coronavirus infections. Paris is going into a month-long lockdown and Germany is facing a “massive” spread of the virus.

Even if the handful of cases of blood clots are conclusively linked to the AstraZeneca vaccine – and there is no evidence at the moment that they are – they will be overwhelmed by the number of deaths from Covid 19 that, tragically, are about to happen.

The petty posturing of some European leaders has created unfounded suspicion about the vaccine and that will cost the lives of their own people.

We can only watch and wonder from our side of the Channel – but it will soon give us a big headache concerning our borders and our holidays.

There is evidence that last year holidaymakers returning from Europe seeded the virus across the UK. Are we going to allow that to happen this year? Although our vaccine will protect us at the moment, we don’t in the future want to import new mutations that get round our defences and return us, after all our hard work, to stage one.

The British Government’s vaccination programme has been extremely successful, but in many other areas, its response to the virus has been reactive rather than pro-active. It must now be thinking ahead to ensuring Europe’s wave doesn’t spill onto our shores.