London, March 25
The UK and European Union (EU) have issued a conciliatory joint statement, pledging to find a “win-win” solution to a row over the supply of Covid-19 vaccines.
The EU has been struggling to meet its member-countries requirements and has piled pressure on British-Swedish biopharma giant AstraZeneca to increase the supplies of the Oxford University vaccines and even indicated possible export blocks. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been conducting one-on-one calls with his European counterparts and said cooperation was “even more important”.
Leaders divided over curb proposals
- EU leaders are divided over proposals for new restrictions on vaccine exports out of the economic bloc, which would aim to boost supplies within the bloc.
- A site in Belgium produces the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine and another in the Netherlands is expected to increase supplies of the jab in the EU.
- Brussels said of the more than 40 million doses exported from the EU over the past two months, a quarter were sent to the UK.
“We are all facing the same pandemic and the third wave makes cooperation between the EU and UK even more important. We have been discussing what more we can do to ensure a reciprocally beneficial relationship between the UK and EU on Covid-19,” reads a joint UK-EU statement.
“Given our interdependencies, we are working on specific steps we can take — in the short, medium and long term — to create a win-win situation and expand vaccine supply. In the end, openness and global cooperation of all countries will be key to overcome the pandemic,” it read.