Britain Would Have to Hand Over 20% of its Vaccines to the WHO Under Pandemic Treaty

The World Health Organisation is on the brink of ratifying a treaty that would grant it authority to demand 20% of Britain’s vaccines and drugs during a pandemic. The Telegraph has the story.

In March 2021, leaders including Boris Johnson announced plans for a new agreement that would bind countries in tackling global health emergencies.

The treaty was criticised for removing sovereign powers, raising fears that Britain would risk signing away its control over pandemic policy to unelected health officials. It has been substantially watered down in the final draft, released this month.

However, under the terms of the new agreement Britain would be obliged to give up 20% of “pandemic-related health products” and prevented from stockpiling supplies.

The updated document says countries must grant “at a minimum… in the event of a pandemic, real-time access by WHO to 20% (10% as a donation and 10% at affordable prices to WHO) of the production of safe, efficacious and effective pandemic-related health products”.

It states that parties should “set aside a portion of its total procurement of relevant diagnostics, therapeutics or vaccines in a timely manner for use in countries facing challenges… and avoid having national stockpiles of pandemic-related health products”.

But the scheme was criticised as “token” and there were fears it could mean vaccines being taken from where they are most needed and sent to areas not at risk, with foreign populations eligible to receive U.K.-manufactured vaccines before the British public.

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