Guy Falconbridge and Kate Holden
LONDON (Reuters) – The British government on Thursday demanded that it receive all vaccines it has ordered and paid for, following Brussels’ call for AstraZeneca to repeal certain orders in the interest of the European Union.
After the European Commission summoned the Anglo-Swedish laboratory to announce its objectives regarding the export of vaccines produced in the European Union and Great Britain, it announced that it would reduce supplies.
“We must ensure that vaccines are purchased and manufactured for the UK,” Foreign Minister Michael Covey told the BBC.
“Our priority should be to ensure that people in our country who are vulnerable and have decided to get vaccinated get these injections,” he continued.
When asked repeatedly whether the UK government would prevent AstraZeneca from returning some UK orders to the EU, Michael Covey said: “The right approach to take with our European friends is to foster a cooperative dialogue to see how we can help them.”
Since AstraZeneca announced last week that its supplies to the EU would be less than the agreed-upon level, Brussels has been pressuring the lab not to reduce production, but it is unclear how the EU executive will be able to deliver the company the amount of forced vaccines it needs in a timely manner.
(French edition by Jean-Philippe Liffe, edited by Plantin Honald)