The UK said Thursday it must receive all of the COVID-19 vaccines it ordered and paid for after the European Union asked AstraZeneca if it could reroute supplies of the Oxford-developed shots from the UK.
The European Union, well behind the US, China and the UK in launching a vaccine, urged AstraZeneca to outline how it would provide the block with reserved doses of COVID-19 vaccine from plants in Europe and the UK.
AstraZeneca, headquartered in Cambridge, England, has offered to show some shipments of its vaccine to the EU and asked the drug maker if it can divert doses from the UK to make up for a supply shortage.
“I think we need to ensure that the purchased and paid for vaccine supplies that have been procured for those in the UK are delivered,” Cabinet Secretary Michael Gove told LBC Radio.
“Our priority must be to ensure that the people in our country who are vulnerable and whom we are vaccinated to get these jobs in these arms,” said Gove.
Gove has been repeatedly asked by the BBC whether the UK government would prevent AstraZeneca from diverting vital vaccine shipments from the UK to the EU. It is crucial that Great Britain received its orders as planned and on time.
“It is the case that the planned, paid and scheduled deliveries should continue,” Gove told the BBC. “Absolutely, it won’t be interrupted.”
“But I also think the right approach for our friends in Europe is to make sure we encourage cooperative dialogue to see how we can do all we can to help.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday that it would have been “a shame” if the UK had stayed in the European Union’s vaccination program instead of developing its own plan.
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)