Flooding overnight threatened a key production site of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in the UK as storm Christoph swelled rivers across the country.
Local authorities in Wrexham, Wales, say they worked through the night, successfully holding off floods at an industrial site where the nationwide supply of the vaccine is put in vials.
About 30 miles away, a river collapsed under floodwaters that sparked evacuations.
Wrexham Borough Council said that Wockhardt contacted them for help yesterday evening.
“This could have had an impact on not just Wrexham and Wales but also the rest of the country.”
Wockhardt has the contract for “fill finishing” of the Oxford/AstraZenca vaccines, which are distributed in the UK. Fill finishing means getting the already manufactured liquid vaccine into the glass vials that are distributed to vaccination centres.
In Manchester, around 2,000 homes were evacuated over concerns of rising water in the River Mersey.
The prime minister this morning visited flood-hit Didsbury area of Manchester, where people are now returning to their homes after the evacuation order was lifted.
The Environment Agency has issued a further 172 warnings of expected flooding.
The risk of flooding in parts of northern England and the Midlands is likely to continue tomorrow and into the weekend, the Environment Agency said.