UK says it will not join the EU's COVID-19 vaccine scheme
10 Jul 2020
The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Britain has turned down the chance to join a 2.4 billion-euro European Union (EU) plan to secure advance purchases of promising COVID-19 vaccines, saying it would not have had a say over the programme.
"The UK government has decided on this occasion not to join this internal EU initiative, but given our shared interest in ensuring that vaccines are available to all, we are committed to strengthening our collaboration with the EU outside the framework," Britain's ambassador to the EU, Tim Barrow, said.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has sparked accusations of putting Brexit before health by rejecting an invitation to join an EU scheme to procure a coronavirus vaccine.
The UK told Brussels on Friday that it fears signing up would risk a delay before people in this country could receive a vaccine in the quantities needed.
Ministers have concerns about a cap on the number of doses allocated to each member state – and will argue that pharmaceutical companies are offering the UK similar prices to EU countries anyway.