It is the law: every virus should have a miraculous cure. It comes, preferably, in a glowing form, or at least let it be green. Except it is the law of movies, not the real life. Not a single coronavirus has a working vaccine against it. But it does not prevent governments from investing fortunes in it – and betting on the success. Perhaps this approach is too optimistic.
The United Kingdom and the European Union are in talks to cooperate in the hunt for potential coronavirus vaccines. This is an important test that must demonstrate that both blocks can also cooperate in emergency situations after Brexit.
London is examining whether the purchasing power of the EU bloc and the ability to enter into agreements with international pharmaceutical companies is more important than the political will to sever ties with Brussels, the Financial Times writes.
The negotiations are in response to the escalation of the international struggle to obtain vaccines against Covid-19, long before they have proven their effectiveness. Last week it became known that the United States had bought almost all of the stock of brake desivir. That is the first drug to receive the green light from both the U.S. and European drug authorities to treat Covid-19.
Remdesivir was originally developed by the American pharmaceutical giant Gilead to fight Ebola. Meanwhile, it has also been proven to help corona patients recover faster from the disease.
The first 140,000 doses have already been used up. The U.S. government has now ordered more than 500,000 doses. That’s Gilead’s full production capacity for July, and 90 percent of August and September.
The European Commission is also consulting with Gilead to reserve doses of the corona medicine Remdesivir for Europeans. Those conversations have yielded little for the time being. The EU is also negotiating with American Johnson & Johnson, while Britain already has an agreement with AstraZeneca.
The UK was invited by the EU to participate in the EU vaccine scheme launched last month as part of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. If London pledges it will pay for the costs. The UK has confirmed its interest in the scheme and both sides hope to reach an agreement this week.
The hunt for a potential vaccine launched by rich countries is worrying health experts. They fear that poorer countries will be put aside. But the European Commission has already confirmed that those countries will also be supplied under the schedule. Under the motto “no one is safe until everyone is safe”.