UK Health Secretary wants any British vaccine to go to British people first

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British Health Secretary Matt Hancock has insisted Britons must be first in the queue for any UK-developed coronavirus vaccine amid a growing row in the Government over the issue.

Downing Street and its scientific advisers are refusing to make any promises over the UK distribution of a British-made vaccine, partly to hedge their bets in case another country produces one first.

But the Health Secretary is determined that British taxpayers – who are funding two UK vaccine programmes at a cost of £42 million – should be the first to see the benefit if either of the projects is successful.

See also: Trials on UK vaccine on people to start today

A Department of Health and Social Care source said: “Matt is the UK Health Secretary, and his job is to protect the UK health service and the UK population. If Britain is the first country to develop a vaccine, he wants to make sure British people, who paid for it, have first refusal.”

Scientists at Oxford University and Imperial College London have begun human trials of a possible vaccine, and Mr Hancock has pumped money into ensuring Britain has the means of mass producing the vaccine if those trials are successful.

A number of ministers are concerned that a “Britain first”attitude could go down badly with other countries and put the UK at the back of the queue for vaccines developed abroad.


Read more via The Telegraph

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