Donald Trump plans to ‘fast track’ approval and ‘buy up’ Oxford vaccine to get ahead of UK

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The Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, Dr Jenny Harries, has called for fair distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine. Sky News presenter Mr Paterson quizzed Dr Harries on reports that the US President is planning to fast track approval and buy up the Oxford vaccine to ensure Americans will get access to it before Britons. 

Mr Paterson said: “Of all the people I did not expect to be discussing with you this morning Donald Trump is certainly top of that list.

“However, we learnt this morning that he is intending to fast track approval and buy up the Oxford University vaccine.

“I am just wondering what your thoughts are about that, about the idea Americans might be getting access to this vaccine before Brits.”

Dr Harries replied: “I don’t think it matters whether it is America or anywhere else, we have a global crisis and it is really important that everyone around the world has fair and safe access to vaccine development.

“Obviously, those countries that are more developed have the facilities to develop the vaccine and get it safely out to their populations.

“I think all public health colleagues would be wanting fair distribution.”

Last month Matt Hancock confirmed that the UK will not join the European Union’s vaccine programme.

The Health Secretary told TimesRadio’s Cathy Newman that the UK has got a very sophisticated domestic programme for developing the vaccine including two of the most developed candidates in the world.

Mr Hancock highlighted the Oxford vaccine as being widely recognised as the most advanced vaccine in the world. 

Ms Newman asked: “Is the EU opting out of that EU scheme on vaccine purchase and if so why?”

The Health Secretary said: “That is right we have chosen not to join the EU scheme on vaccine purchase.

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“The reason is it would not have allowed us to have a say in the vaccines that were procured, the price, the quantity or the delivery schedule.

“We have got a very sophisticated domestic programme, a UK programme for developing the vaccine for two of the most developed candidates in the world including the one that is widely recognised as the most advanced, the Oxford vaccine.

“We have also been putting in place contracts with other vaccine developers globally to make sure that if another vaccine from around the world comes off or can add to the programme then we will have access to that.

“Rather than disrupt that programme by joining the EU programme where we wouldn’t have any say in those matters we are carrying on with our own.”

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