If it wasn’t Brexit, UK COVID-19 vaccine approvals would have taken longer

Despite fast approvals of vaccines and a rather successful vaccination program, the speed of economic recovery remains fragile

UK vaccine

If it wasn’t Brexit, UK COVID-19 vaccine approvals would have taken longer. Source:

According to GlobalData, 50% of healthcare industry professionals from Europe believe that Brexit allowed the UK to accelerate its COVID-19 vaccines approval process.

Additionally, 31% of UK respondents stressed that the UK’s exit from the bloc did not impact the expedited authorization of COVID-19 vaccines.

Even though other EU countries were able to use their own regulators to issue temporary authorization for Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine, the same way as Britain did, the bloc members were encouraged to wait for the European Medicine Agency to grant approval first in order to follow a common vaccination deployment strategy
Urte Jakimaviciute, Senior Director of Market Research at GlobalData

The UK has consistently experienced negative GDP growth in the last four quarters of 2020, according to the UK Office of National Statistics. GDP for February 2021 is 7.8% below the levels of February 2020.

For businesses, Brexit means increased bureaucratic burden. That’s because additional customs documentation and clearance are needed for the goods moving between the EU and the UK. The UK’s ONS states that the value of goods exported from the UK to the EU fell by £5.6 billion in January 2021 while imports from the EU dropped by £6.6 billion, with the pharmaceutical sector being one of the most affected.

Supply chain disruptions have long been considered the biggest Brexit issue. The UK’s fast approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine can be seen as a strategic move as it ensured more efficient imports of this vaccine produced in the EU.

In March 2021, the EU tightened rules for the export of COVID-19 vaccines, giving its members the right to block shipments to countries with better epidemiological situations, higher vaccination rates, and greater availability or access to vaccines.

We’ve reported that the average transaction value in the UK increased by over 90%.


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