EU leaders are holding virtual talks to debate ways of boosting Covid vaccine supplies and improving the rollout of doses across the 27-nation bloc.
The European Commission will on Thursday ask leaders to support plans for added controls on vaccine exports, which could affect supply to the United Kingdom.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson earlier warned against imposing “blockades”.
The virtual summit comes as the 3rd wave of coronavirus infections sweeps across much of mainland Europe.
US President Joe Biden also will dial into the talks afterward Thursday to debate EU-US relations.
The European Union’s vaccine rollout campaign has been slower than that of the United Kingdom. The European Commission has blamed pharmaceutical companies – primarily AstraZeneca – for not delivering the promised doses to the EU.
However, leaders are divided over proposals for brand spanking new restrictions on vaccine exports out of the bloc, which might aim to spice up supplies within the EU.
A site in Belgium produces the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, and another within the Netherlands is predicted to extend supplies of the jab within the EU.
Brussels has said that of the quite 40 million doses exported from the EU over the past two months, 1 / 4 were sent to the UK.
In a joint statement on Wednesday, the United Kingdom and therefore the EU said they wanted to “create a win-win situation and expand vaccine supply for all”.
“We are all facing an same pandemic and therefore the third wave makes co-operation between the EU and UK even more important,” the statement added.