Did Brexit lead to the UK’s vaccine success?

"Doctor or Nurse Wearing Medical Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Against The Flag Of United Kingdom" by focusonmore.com is licensed with CC BY 2.0.

Originally published by The Spectator

Today the United Kingdom became the first country in the West to clinically authorise a vaccine protecting against Covid-19, after the medicines regulator, the MHRA, said the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was safe to use.

The announcement puts Britain ahead of Europe when it comes to rolling out the vaccine, as the EU’s own regulator, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), has not yet approved the vaccine. While Britain will begin administering Pfizer’s vaccine next week, countries like Belgium have announced that they will start their vaccination campaigns in January, subject to EMA approval.

When it comes to vaccines, a few weeks of delay can make a big difference, given the economic and health costs of the pandemic. So it is perhaps not surprising that many people are wondering if Brexit gave Britain the freedom to approve the vaccine before the EU.

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