US President Donald Trump has ordered defense and health chiefs to ensure that America is the first to acquire the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University from the UK.
This could mean that all available doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine will be purchased by the US, leaving none for Britain.
President Trump has repeatedly said that by April, adequate doses of the coronavirus vaccine will be made available to every American. He further said that vaccine delivery will start within 24 hours after it is approved by federal health regulators.
Developers of AstraZeneca have also said that on a first-come will first-served basis the vaccine will be supplied.
AstraZeneca spokesman said, “If the US regulator clears it first, they will get it first”.
By promising up to $1.2 billion in May, the U.S. has already secured nearly a third of AstraZeneca’s one billion potential COVID-19 vaccine doses.
Under the Operation Warp Speed plan, a multi-agency collaboration led by the US Health and Human Services, President Trump has promised vaccine doses for every American, aimed at accelerating the development and production of medical countermeasures for COVID-19 and providing 300 million doses of an effective vaccine by January 2021.
According to the reports, even though the UK has contributed $98 million (£84 million) to the vaccine and UK Prime minister, Boris Johnson has secured 100 million doses, if US regulators first offer the go-ahead, Britain could be left behind.
AstraZeneca is one of the pioneers in the race to produce the COVID-19 vaccine. Moderna and Pfizer are the other companies that have reached phase 3 trials of COVID-19 vaccines.
As per the reports, worldwide coronavirus cases crossed 40 million on October 19. The United States, India, and Brazil remain the world’s worst-affected nations.