UK Rejects WHO’s Global Vaccine Treaty, Citing Sovereignty Concerns

The UK government has announced its intention to reject the World Health Organization’s (WHO) proposed global vaccine treaty, citing concerns over national sovereignty and the requirement to give away a fifth of the country’s vaccines.

According to a draft of the pandemic accord being negotiated at the WHO, richer countries should be asked to help the world cope with pandemics, including reserving 20% of tests, treatments, and vaccines for the WHO to distribute in poorer countries during emergencies.

A spokesperson for Britain’s Department of Health and Social Care stated, “We will only support the adoption of the accord and accept it on behalf of the UK, if it is firmly in the UK national interest and respects national sovereignty.” The spokesperson refrained from commenting on specific proposals from the accord, emphasizing that no proposals have been agreed upon yet.

The new pact and updates to existing WHO rules for dealing with pandemics are intended to bolster the world’s defenses against new pathogens in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which claimed millions of lives globally. However, the issue of fairly sharing drugs and vaccines remains a point of contention between wealthy and developing nations.

As reported by The Telegraph, the UK’s rejection of the treaty comes amid growing concerns over ceding sovereignty to the unelected UN subsidiary.