The UK economy is dealing with a double blow caused by the coronavirus pandemic and Brexit.
Verdict has conducted a poll to assess the impact of Brexit on the supply of COVID-19 vaccines to the UK. Analysis of the poll results indicates that the supply of COVID-19 vaccines may be affected after Brexit transition, as opined by a majority 44% of the respondents.
A lesser 38% of the respondents voted that Brexit would have no impact on the vaccine supply-chain.
The remaining 18% of the respondents were unsure about how the Brexit transition would impact the vaccine supply to the UK.
The analysis is based on 223 responses received from the readers of Medical Device Network, a Verdict network site, between 07 December 2020 and 18 January 2021.
Brexit impact on COVID-19 vaccines
The UK officially left the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020, which started the 11-month period of Brexit transition that ended on 31 December 2020.
The new trade rules would require imports and exports to undergo customs declarations, tariff payments and other validations. Although these processes may not immediately effect vaccine rollout, they may delay the vaccine programme.
The Chief Executive of the National Health Service (NHS), Sir Simon Stevens, has warned that the UK is facing a shortage of vaccines and any restrictions on vaccines produced in Europe could further complicate the vaccine rollout programme.
Concerns over AstraZeneca’s failure to deliver vaccine doses to the EU member states due to production issues has triggered a new debate. The company worked in close partnership with the Oxford University to develop the COVID-19 vaccine. The EU has even threatened to tighten the controls over vaccine exports that are produced in Europe in retaliation to AstraZeneca’s plans to reduce vaccines exports to EU.