The UK and the EU also issued a joint statement on Wednesday evening, stating they were working on a “win-win situation” to “expand vaccine supply for all our citizens”…reports Asian Lite News.

UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Thursday the country has an “exclusive” contract with coronavirus vaccine developer AstraZeneca, while the European Union’s is based on a “best efforts” basis.

Hancock told the Financial Times that both sides were looking to resolve a dispute surrounding vaccine delivery, reports dpa news agency.

But he added the bloc should not try and suspend the export of vaccines from a site in the Netherlands to the UK, due to the nature of the contractual agreements they have with the British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant.

AstraZeneca vaccine

“I believe that free trading nations follow the law of contracts,” he told the newspaper on Thursday.

“They have a ‘best efforts’ contract and we have an exclusivity deal.

“Our contract trumps theirs. It’s called contract law — it’s very straightforward,” Hancock added.

On Wednesday, the EU tightened controls of its vaccine exports further, allowing shipments headed almost anywhere to be halted.

The move triggered warnings from the UK, a major recipient of EU-produced jabs.

Member states including Belgium and Ireland have voiced concern about the potential backlash to blockades.

The UK and the EU also issued a joint statement on Wednesday evening, stating they were working on a “win-win situation” to “expand vaccine supply for all our citizens”.

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