UK refuses to sign global vaccine treaty, The Telegraph reports

By Thomson Reuters May 8, 2024 | 4:21 PM

(Reuters) – Britain is refusing to sign the World Health Organization’s pandemic accord because the country says it would have to give away a fifth of its vaccines, the Telegraph reported on Wednesday.

Britain will only agree to a legally binding global accord if there is a commitment that British-made shots are used for what the country deems to be its own national interest, the Telegraph said.

Britain’s Department of Health and Social Care and the WHO did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

The new pact and a series of updates to existing rules for dealing with pandemics from the WHO are intended to shore up the world’s defenses against new pathogens after the COVID-19 pandemic killed millions of people.

One of the main points of disagreement between wealthy countries and developing states is the vexed issue of sharing drugs and vaccines fairly.

Countries are due to finalise negotiations on the accord on May 10, with a view to adopting it at the WHO’s annual meeting later this month.

(Reporting by Rishabh Jaiswal in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonali Paul)