Thank you for contacting me about cooperating with the EU during the coronavirus outbreak.
I want to stress that there is nothing that participating in EU schemes would allow us to do which we cannot do ourselves. The Government has, for instance, ordered over 32 billion items of PPE to provide a continuous supply over the next few months.
I understand that the Government decided not to take part in the EU vaccination scheme because we would not have had any say on how it was run, and we would not have been able to pursue our own negotiations. It would have meant no say on which vaccines to procure, no say on their price and no say on the quantity. The Government has secured early access to 355 million vaccine doses including 140 million doses of the leading Pfzier and AstraZeneca vaccines and was the first country to initiate a mass vaccination programme.
Thank you again for contacting me.