Michael Gove rejects EU vaccine demands as he insists ‘no interruption in UK supply’

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Senior Cabinet minister Michael Gove has insisted that Britain must receive all of the COVID-19 vaccines it had ordered and paid for after the European Union asked AstraZeneca if it could divert supplies of the Oxford-developed shots from Britain. The European Union, which is far behind the United States, China and Britain on rolling out a vaccine, demanded AstraZeneca spell out how it would supply the bloc with reserved doses of COVID-19 vaccine from plants in Europe and Britain. AstraZeneca, which is headquartered in Cambridge, England, has offered to bring forward some deliveries of its vaccine to the EU which has asked the drugmaker if it can divert doses from the UK to make up for a shortfall in supplies.

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Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Gove said: “First thing, we must make sure that we continue with the effective acceleration of our vaccination programme.

“That relies on the supply schedule that has been agreed to be honoured.

“That’s the first and most important thing.

“But secondarily I’m sure we all want to do everything possible to make sure that as many people in countries which our are friends and neighbours are vaccinated and I think we best achieve that through dialogue and co-operation and friendship.”

Pressed on whether the Government will allow vaccines to go to the EU, he said: “No, the critical thing is we must make sure that the schedule that has been agreed and on which our vaccination programme has been based and planned goes ahead.

“It is the case that the supplies that have been planned, paid for and scheduled should continue, absolutely.

“There will be no interruption to that.”

More to follow…

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