The EU says it is ready to use "all legal means" to retain vaccine supplies, stepping up its threat to block Pfizer jabs' exports to the UK if necessary.
A leaked letter sent by Charles Michel, the European Council president, reveals Brussels is exploring "urgent measures to ensure effective vaccine production and supply for our population."
The so-called "vaccine wars" have been sparked by AstraZeneca guaranteeing supplies to the UK – while delaying deliveries to the EU because of production problems, arguing its contract was signed later.
In response, Mr. Michel said emergency measures were being explored to block exports, including the Pfizer vaccine, where the UK has 40 million doses on order.
"The evidence they've supplied is they think it's effective across all age groups and provides a good immune response across all age groups," the prime minister added.
The concern is growing in Brussels falling behind in the vaccine race, with around 13 percent of Britons given a jab, compared with only 2 percent of the EU's population.