President of United States Donald Trump has ordered defense and health chiefs to make sure America is the first one to acquire UK’s COVID-19 vaccine, being developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca.
This makes it very clear that US may acquire all available doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, leaving none for the UK.
With the election taking place in the coming month, Trump has repeatedly announced that enough doses of coronavirus vaccine will be made available by April for every American citizen. He has also ensured that the distribution of vaccines will begin within 24 hours of it being approved by federal health regulators.
Vaccine developer AstraZeneca, too, has announced that the vaccine will be supplied on a first-come, first-served basis.
According to the reports, AstraZeneca will deliver COVID-19 vaccine doses to the first country to give it the safety green light.
AstraZeneca spokesman mentioned while talking to the UK tabloid, If the US regulator clears it first, they will get it first.
By pledging up to $1.2 billion in May, the United States has already secured almost a third of AstraZeneca’s one billion possible COVID-19 vaccine doses.
President Donald Trump has promised to vaccinate every American under Operation Warp Speed plan, a multi-agency collaboration led by the US Health and Human Services, which aims at accelerating the development and manufacturing of medical countermeasures for COVID-19 and delivering 300 million doses of an effective vaccine by January next year.
According to the report, the UK has contributed £84 million for the development of the vaccine. 100 million doses is secured by the UK Prime Minister, but Britain could be left behind if US regulators is the first to give clearance to the vaccine.
Coronavirus cases around the world had crossed 40 million on October 19. Currently, the worst affected nations in the world are the United States, India, and Brazil
The UK government hopes that a coronavirus vaccine will be available by December
England’s deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, this week told members of Parliament that the vaccine being developed at Oxford University with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca could be available to high-priority groups in time for the New Year, according to The Times of London newspaper.
He reportedly told MPs: “We aren’t light-years away from it. It isn’t a totally unrealistic suggestion that we could deploy a vaccine soon after Christmas. That would have a significant impact on hospital admissions and deaths.”
An MP who attended who briefing told the newspaper that Van-Tam was “very bullish about the third stage AstraZeneca results, which he expects between the end of this month and the end of next.”
If a vaccine is developed, Boris Johnson’s government plans to initially offer it to the elderly, the vulnerable, and key workers to reduce the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths significantly. Van-Tam reportedly told MPs that this would make it much harder for young people infected with the virus to pass it on to more at-risk people.
Thousands of National Health Service staff will receive training in vaccination before the end of the year, The Times of London report said.
Professor Van-Tam’s comments come as the UK confronts a second spike of the virus, with Johnson’s government enforcing an array of local lockdowns in a bid to tackle soaring numbers of new infections across the country.
The UK prime minister this week urged MPs to temper their expectations over a virus, warning them that failure to develop a vaccine for Sars shows “it cannot be taken for granted.”
Asked by Conservative MP Steve Baker on Monday to provide a specific timeline for the development of a vaccine, Johnson said: “Alas, I can’t give him a date by which I can promise confidently that we will have a vaccine.
“There are some very hopeful signs, not least from the Oxford AstraZeneca trials that are being conducted.
“But, as he knows, Sars took place 18 years ago, we still don’t have a vaccine for Sars. I don’t wish to depress him, but we must be realistic about this.
“There is a good chance of a vaccine, but it cannot be taken for granted.”
Until and unless a vaccine is developed, Johnson’s government hopes that upgrading the UK’s testing regime plus the development of new therapeutic treatments will make it easier to suppress the virus and reduce the need for harsh lockdown restrictions.