Floods threaten Wrexham coronavirus vaccine facility

Teams working through the night to deal with the effects of Storm Christoph were needed to protect the coronavirus vaccine facility in Wrexham.

Large parts of North Wales continue to deal with the aftermath of the flooding caused by the storm which hit the region on Wednesday.

In Wrexham, excess water surrounded buildings at Wockhardt’s pharmaceutical manufacturing facility on the town’s industrial estate during the heavy rainfall.

Council leader, Cllr Mark Pritchard, said that emergency work was completed last night (January 20) on the Wrexham Industrial Estate to ensure that supplies of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine produced by Wockhardt were not damaged by floodwater.

Speaking this morning on BBC Radio Wales, Mr Pritchard said: “We had an incident at Wrexham Industrial Estate.

“The Oxford vaccination is produced there and the warehouse where it is stored, obviously I can’t tell you where it is, but we had to work in partnership to make sure we didn’t lose the vaccinations in the floods.

“I’ve been up all night. It’s a very difficult time for us.”

He further stressed in an interview on Sky News that the factory site and vaccines were not at any risk to production issues as a result of the weather.

Speaking on television, he told Sky: “This could have had an impact not just in Wrexham, but across the whole country with the vaccination supplies.

“They were under pressure, they had serious concerns that their warehouse logistically could be flooded.

“They asked us for help and support and without hesitation, we gave them that support.”

All “necessary precautions” were taken to prevent disruption to the manufacture of the jab, according to a spokeswoman for Wockhardt UK

“Last night at approximately 1600 hours, Wockhardt UK experienced mild flooding, resulting in excess water surrounding part of the buildings across site,” the spokeswoman said in a statement.

“All necessary precautions were taken, meaning no disruption to manufacturing or inlet of water into buildings.

“The site is now secure and free from any further flood damage and operating as normal.”

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