United States President Donald Trump has ordered defence and health chiefs to ensure that America is the first one to procure UK's COVID-19 vaccine, being developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.
This could mean that the US may buy all available doses of AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine, leaving none for Britain.
Trump, who faces an election in November, has repeatedly said that enough doses of coronavirus vaccine will be made available for every American by April. He has also said that distribution of vaccine will begin within 24 hours of it being approved by federal health regulators.
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Developer AstraZeneca, too, has said that the vaccine will be supplied on a first-come, first-served basis.
COVID-19 vaccine doses will be delivered to the first country to give it the safety green light, AstraZeneca said, as per a Mirror report.
"If the US regulator clears it first, they will get it first," an AstraZeneca spokesman told the UK tabloid.
United States has already secured almost a third of AstraZeneca's one billion possible COVID-19 vaccine doses by pledging up to $1.2 billion in May.
Trump has promised vaccine doses for every American under Operation Warp Speed plan, a multi-agency collaboration led by the US Health and Human Services, which aims at accelerating the development and manufacturing of medical countermeasures for COVID-19 and delivering 300 million doses of an effective vaccine by January 2021.
Meanwhile, the UK has contributed £84 million towards the vaccine, as per the report. Boris Johnson has also secured 100 million doses, but Britain could be left behind if US regulators give the go-ahead first.
AstraZeneca is one of the leaders in the race to develop COVID-19 vaccine. Other companies that have COVID-19 vaccines in phase 3 trials include Moderna Inc and Pfizer Inc.
Worldwide coronavirus cases crossed 40 million on October 19, as per a Reuters tally. United States, India, and Brazil remain the worst affected countries in the world.
While around 247 cases are seen per 10,000 people in the United States, for India and Brazil, this number stands at 55 and 248, respectively.