The UK and EU are expected to reach an agreement by as early as this weekend, which should ensure the continued supply of Pfizer vaccines to Britain. As part of the deal, the British Government is prepared to share with the EU the AstraZeneca jabs being produced at the Halix plant in Holland, The Times reports. Earlier in the week, Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission President, had threatened to beef up regulations governing vaccine exports from the bloc to the UK.
Brussels is currently struggling to supply vaccines to its member states due to a chronic shortage of supplies.
Ms von der Leyen had accused the Prime Minister of showing a lack of reciprocity towards the European Union over vaccine access.
During a virtual summit on Thursday involving European heads of state, the Commission President said that the EU had exported to Britain some 21 million vaccine doses.
Approximately one million were AstraZeneca jabs, while the rest were Pfizer-BioNtech vaccines manufactured in Belgium.
However, in return the European Union had received no vaccine deliveries from AstraZeneca production sites in Oxford and Keele.
Ms von der Leyen’s proposals for stricter vaccine export regulations were rejected by the majority of the EU’s leaders, although they received support from President Macron.
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Prospects of a vaccine war had raised fears that the UK would not be able to offer its citizens a second jab as planned, due to a lack of stock.
However, the Prime Minister insisted there was no shortfall in supplies, even though India’s Serum Institute recently cancelled delivery of five million vaccine doses.
Mr Johnson said: “We will have the second doses that people need within the 12-week window, which means around 12 million people in April.”