Health Law & Business News

U.K. Considers Joining EU Virus Vaccine Drive in Race for Supply

July 3, 2020, 4:44 PM

The U.K. is considering joining the European Union’s drive to develop and acquire coronavirus vaccines, despite formally quitting the 27-country bloc earlier this year.

“Work is ongoing to determine whether and how the U.K. participates in the EU Vaccines Strategy,” the U.K.’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said in an email on Friday.

The EU is spending more than 2 billion euros ($2.3 billion) to finance research into a vaccine as it tries to avoid falling behind the U.S. or China in obtaining supplies of any Covid-19 interventions. Earlier this month, EU health ministers gave the European Commission the green light to pursue advance purchase agreements with drug companies for hundreds of millions of doses.

In March, the U.K. was criticized for not joining an EU program to procure ventilators for patients suffering from coronavirus, despite being invited to join. Britain is due to complete its separation from the bloc on Jan 1. 2021 after the current transition period ends.

To contact the reporter on this story:
Joe Mayes in London at jmayes9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Tim Ross at tross54@bloomberg.net

Thomas Penny, Edward Evans

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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