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The UK will not join an EU scheme to obtain a coronavirus vaccine if one is successfully developed, Matt Hancock has confirmed.

“We have chosen not to join the EU scheme on vaccine purchase,” Hancock told Times Radio on Friday.

“The reason is that it wouldn’t have allowed us to have a say in the vaccines that were procured, the price, the quantity of the delivery schedule.

“We are further ahead than the EU schemes are,” he added.

“We would have joined the EU scheme if they had allowed us also to continue with our own negotiations, but one of the conditions of the scheme was that we would have had to stop our own negotiations and only do them through the European Commission, and we weren’t prepared to do that.

“We think we will go faster this way.”

Trials to test possible coronavirus vaccines are underway around the world.

In the UK, hundreds of people have volunteered to take part in a human trial led by the University of Oxford.

The university has already signed a deal with pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca to supply the vaccine if it is successful.

An agreement between Oxford University, the drug company and the government means the UK will have immediate access to the vaccine, if it works.

However, a deal has been made to make sure the vaccine is made available globally on a non-profit basis during the pandemic, including to low and middle income countries, the university said. Read more

Read also: Boris Johnson Tells Britain To ‘Go Back To Work’

The UK will not join an EU scheme to obtain a coronavirus vaccine if one is successfully developed, Matt Hancock has confirmed.