EU could block Covid-19 vaccine to UK over Brexit experts warn

Michel Barnier

Health experts have warned that the European Union could block the UK from getting a coronavirus vaccine over Brexit.

The coronavirus vaccine is not expected to be ready for up to 18 months, by which time the UK would have ended trade talks and could be outside the authority of the EU’s medicines regulator, the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Olivier Wouters, assistant professor of health policy at the London School of Economics, told, “The European Medicines Agency is representing a patient pool of 500m-odd patients.

“That seems like a more lucrative market for a drug company or a vaccine maker to prioritise.”

Wouters said a British plea for special access to this was “theoretically possible” but doubted it would be successful.

He added, “I’m not sure that the European counterparts would accept the UK authorities cherry-picking where they want to be part of European legislation and take part in European initiatives.”