European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen recalled during the European summit that 77 million vaccines had left the continent, which is much higher than the 62 million doses given to Europeans.
Europe has decided to raise its tone this week. The European Commission has tightened control over the export of its vaccines, particularly to pressure the United Kingdom, which will not play a game of reciprocity with AstraZeneca vaccines.
If the European Union wants more control over what happens to the vaccines produced on its territory, it is because factories located in its territory distribute its production to countries outside of about 27 countries.
77 million doses of exported vaccines
According to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, production sites located in the European Union have exported 77 million vaccines worldwide to 33 countries, including Canada, the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom and China, from 1 December.
It is the Kovacs contribution, this WHO tool ensures vaccine access to the less wealthy countries that do not produce them. The Commission ensures that Europe is the main donor with 31 million doses delivered so far in 54 countries.
So far, factories based on the European region have exported more doses than the number given to more than 27 citizens. Der Lean. About half the doses produced in the European region therefore went for export.
21 million vaccines for the UK
A good part of which goes to the United Kingdom. The country of Boris Johnson has reportedly received 21 million doses of vaccines from the European Union since December (the Commission does not specify which vaccines have primarily gone into the channel). While the country has vaccinated 29 million people, the bulk of its dose comes from factories located in Europe.
Something to do because at the same time, no vaccine was being received from outside the European Union. The United States has banned the export of vaccines produced on its territory and the United Kingdom has negotiated with AstraZeneca to prioritize delivery of vaccines.
If each country favored its population, should Europe have done the same instead of giving millions to the world? It is historically based on free trade, which is not before philosophy.
“The European Union is connected to multilateralism, reminds Francisso Ricardo Borges di Castro, Associate Director of the Brussels Think European Policy Center. Exports are not included in the tradition of Europe, which is linked to free trade. Exchanges made Without counting the commitments made. Within the framework of Kovacs. “
An increase in export restrictions may actually have a more damaging effect on vaccine production. Because if the European Union has not imported any supplements, many of the components needed to manufacture the vaccines come from outside such as the lipids required for the Pfizer vaccine that were distributed from the United States and the United Kingdom.
“Most of the material needed to manufacture the vaccine is found outside the block, summarizing Jacob Kirchgaard of the German Marshal Fund think tank in finceinfo. We could also see other countries, ban their exports, which Eventually reduced the amount. Vaccines available to Europeans. “
Conservatism of the United States and the United Kingdom
The United States and the United Kingdom in particular are an exception globally. According to Airfinity, these are the only two countries that do not export any vaccines produced on their territory. The EU, India and China distribute 40 to 50% of their production abroad.
In addition, European factories began production in early December at a time when only the United States and the United Kingdom began vaccination operations. Therefore, priority was given to those countries whose population would immediately benefit from the doses delivered.
One question remains: would producers have agreed to produce on the European continent if the Commission had imposed strict export controls? Europe already has the necessary laboratories that have the responsibility shared between them and the states in the event of failure or side effects. Did the laboratories meeting this requirement agree to see their production limited to European countries or would they remodel their production outside the Union? In this case, the number of vaccines produced on the continent may be reduced.