News

26.08.2020

UK ‘will get first access to Oxford vaccine’

The UK would be first in line for a coronavirus vaccine developed by Oxford University if it was proven to be effective, Downing Street has said.

It comes after reports Donald Trump is considering granting emergency authorisation for it to be deployed in the US.

The vaccine is being developed by Oxford scientists and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca.

A Number 10 spokesman said: “We have been clear that we will only roll out a vaccine once it is deemed safe and effective by our regulators.”

The UK Government has struck a deal with AstraZeneca to get “first access” to it once approved, the spokesman said.

“AstraZeneca have entered into a number of agreements with other countries, they have the global licensing agreement with Oxford, but we have been clear: once it has been found to be effective, we have signed a deal for 100 million doses which means that once it is effective the UK will get first access,” the spokesman added.

Commenting on the prospect of the vaccine being fast-tracked in the US, England’s deputy chief medical officer Dr Jenny Harries said that everyone around the globe should have “fair and safe access to vaccine development”.

Dr Harries told Sky News: “We have a global crisis… It is really important that everyone around the world has fair and safe access to vaccine development.

“Obviously those countries which are more developed have the facilities to develop the vaccine and get it safely out to their populations. But I think all public health colleagues would be wanting fair distribution.”

Read more: Express and Star

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