It is “too early” for the UK to consider the prospect of giving away excess Covid-19 vaccines to other countries, according to international trade secretary Liz Truss.
Truss said the UK was on track to vaccinate every adult in the UK by autumn and that the UK was committed to ensure “vaccines are there to cover the world”.
It comes as the UK and EU vowed to “reset” relations, after Brussels threatened to block vaccine shipments on Friday, which would have breached the Belfast Good Friday Agreement.
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said Brussels had realised its “mistake” in threatening to impose trade restrictions on vaccines.
“What we know about the vaccination programme is this is a global problem and we need a global solution,” Truss told Sky News.
“We’re only going to be able to deal with this disease if we get everybody vaccinated across the world.
“It’s vital we work together, it’s vital we keep borders open and we resist vaccine nationalism, and we resist protectionism.”
The international trade secretary told BBC that the UK would in time help the international effort to ensure poorer countries would access vaccines.
She said that the AstraZeneca/Oxford University jab long shelf life and the ease in which it can be transported meant the UK vaccine would play a large part in vaccinating the globe.
“We’ve been part of the international Covax taskforce to make sure vaccines are there to cover the world,” she said.
“We need everybody to be protected – that’s the way we’ll grip this disease.”