The Health Secretary told TimesRadio‘s Cathy Newman that the UK has got a very sophisticated domestic programme for developing the vaccine including two of the most developed candidates in the world. Mr Hancock highlighted the Oxford vaccine as being widely recognised as the most advanced vaccine in the world.
Ms Newman asked: “Is the EU opting out of that EU scheme on vaccine purchase and if so why?”
Mr Hancock said: “That is right we have chosen not to join the EU scheme on vaccine purchase.
“The reason is it would not have allowed us to have a say in the vaccines that were procured, the price, the quantity or the delivery schedule.
“We have got a very sophisticated domestic programme, a UK programme for developing the vaccine for two of the most developed candidates in the world including the one that is widely recognised as the most advanced, the Oxford vaccine.
Matt Hancock has been the Health Secretary since 2018
The coronavirus risk chart
“We have also been putting in place contracts with other vaccine developers globally to make sure that if another vaccine from around the world comes off or can add to the programme then we will have access to that.
“Rather than disrupt that programme by joining the EU programme where we wouldn’t have any say in those matters we are carrying on with our own.”
Last month Matt Hancock revealed that a manufacturer has already committed to producing Oxford University’s coronavirus vaccine.
The Health Secretary stated that AstraZeneca had struck a deal for the manufacture of the Oxford vaccine.
Mr Hancock added that the Imperial vaccine is now in the first phase of human trails.
Mr Hancock said: “In the long run, the best way to defeat this virus is through the discovery of a vaccine.
“Since the start, we have been supporting the most promising projects.
UK population could receive COVID-19 vaccination in time for CHRISTMAS [INSIGHT]
Coronavirus forecast: Second wave expected to hit in autumn [INSIGHT]
BBC slammed over ‘inaccurate’ coronavirus death figures by Tory MP [VIDEO]
The UK R rate compared by region
“As of this week, the Imperial vaccine is now in the first phase of human clinical trials.
“AstraZeneca has struck a deal for the manufacture of the Oxford vaccine.
“They are starting manufacturing now even ahead of approval so we can build up a stockpile and be ready should it be clinically approved.
“We are starting the manufacture of the Oxford vaccine now.”