The European Union complains that while millions of vaccine supplements have been administered from the continent to Great Britain in the last few months, almost nothing has gone in the opposite direction. The progress of the vaccination campaign in Great Britain – about 29 million vaccinated earlier, which corresponds to 54.4 percent of the population – at first glance supports this assessment. Against this backdrop, the contract clause claimed by Hancock can be interpreted as a ban on exports through the legal back door.
The British fear that the European Union will ban exports
Nevertheless, Great Britain fears a clear ban on the export of vaccines from the EU and is clearly interested in an amicable solution to not jeopardize its own vaccination campaign. Eventually, according to the British government, only 2.5 million people received a second dose. This is one million fewer people with full vaccination protection than in Germany. Imposing export restrictions on vaccines “would be a grave mistake,” Hancock warned the European Union. The conservative party politician said, “I believe that free trade nations follow contract law.” Hancock stressed that discussions with the European Union about this were “cooperative, practice-oriented and collaborative”.
It was only on Wednesday that the European Union expanded export controls in early February. New criteria for the EU’s export mechanism should the vaccine be withheld in the future if proportionality and reciprocity are not maintained. However, there should be no general export restrictions. Developing countries should not be a hindrance to exports.
Italy has 29 million boxes stored
Astrazeneca came under additional pressure on Wednesday after reports of vaccine supplements being stored in Italy. It is not less than 29 million cans. According to a response from the pharmaceutical company, 16 million doses of it are to be delivered to the European Union within the next few weeks, awaiting approval by Quality Control. The remaining 13 million doses should go to the Kovacs initiative, which brings vaccines to poor countries. “The vaccine was manufactured outside the European Union and brought to the Agni plant to be filled in vials,” AstraZeneca said.