Alok Sharma, the Business Secretary, have pushed towards this decision after not receiving “sufficient assurance” to get enough vaccines on time.
UK has declined the offer of the EU for a Covid vaccine scheme, claiming that “benefits are limited”. According to sources, the government felt possible “costly delays“.
UK refused to join a EU bid for Covid vaccine
The European Union is debating to spend around €2bn (£1.8bn) for the purchase of vaccine that are in the testing phase, to satisfy the needs of the member states. The purpose of the Union is to use the bloc’s collective bargaining power to strike deals with global pharmaceutical giants. In this context, the UK have negotiated with EU to join the bid. According to the Telegraph, the Business Secretary Alok Sharma declined the offer after not perceiving “sufficient assurance” that the UK would get enough vaccines on time.
Then, opposition MPs may criticize the government of being short-sighted and too influenced by Brexit dogma. On the contrary, the government believed that negotiations over distribution may delay the distribution up to six months. Also, Ministers declared that states would have received a so-called “volume ceiling”, or limit on the number of doses allocated to each member state. Also, UK would have no decisional power in the deals because it is no longer part of the European Union, said insiders.
The future of vaccines in UK
On the other side, EU claimed that “collective purchasing power” would reduce the cost of the purchase. Instead, UK considered benefits as “limited” because pharmaceutical companies are offering the UK similar prices to other countries. By the way, government has made bilateral agreements with Oxford University and the pharma giant AstraZeneca, as well as Imperial College London to accelerate trials of a vaccine.
The collaboration between Oxford University AstraZeneca may won the world rush to the vaccine, placing UK on the first position. Experiments have reached the phase two on human trial on May. The Government is looking for 30 million vaccine doses for the distribution in September, according to Sharma.