Vaccines: EU will tighten its export controls, AstraZeneca sets its sights

The European Union exported some 10 million doses of all vaccines to the UK between 1 February and mid-March, but on the contrary, it did not receive any doses produced on UK soil.

LThat European Commission will tighten export controls for anti-Kovid vaccines manufactured on its soil on Wednesday, a measure that should target AstraZeneca and which escalates tensions with the United Kingdom without a consensus among 27.

The European executive will “adopt a review of transparency and authorization mechanisms for vaccine exports”, spokeswoman for the institution announced Tuesday at a press conference.

The decision, which falls within the Commission’s capacity, aims to increase the EU’s vaccine supply and will be on the menu at the Twenty-Seven video conference summit on Thursday, as the continent faces the third wave of the Kovid-19 pandemic . .

The commission intends to tighten the conditions for exporting to countries that produce kovid vaccines themselves – a measure targeting the United Kingdom – but also for those whose population is already widely vaccinated.

The European Union exported some 10 million doses of all vaccines to the UK between 1 February and mid-March, but on the contrary, it did not receive any of the doses produced on UK soil – so that the contract signed by AstraZeneca produced in the two factories of drought Be provided for delivery. in the United Kingdom.

Commission chairman Ursula von der Leyne on Saturday threatened to block AstraZeneca’s exports if the EU did not promise supplies for the first time: Swedish-British laboratory plans to deliver to EU in second quarter 70 million doses, provided for 180 million. Contract.

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“We’re going to act”

Intense discussions are underway between Brussels and London to find a compromise, particularly at outlets for the factory that manufactures the AstraZeneca vaccine in the Netherlands.

“Missing dose of AstraZeneca has caused a serious problem (…) an audience at the commission (…) we are not going to work”, MEPs Sandra Gallina, Director General of Health, confirmed before Tuesday is. Commission.

Brussels produced the respective state’s green light in late January, before any exports of vaccines outside the European Union by a laboratory on the need for a mechanism. This decision should be confirmed by the Commission.

In seven weeks, only one export request (from AstraZeneca to Australia) was blocked.

The revised device would also aim to prevent a “ban” by passing a dose blocked by the European Union to a company through another country, specifying a European source, according to which the list of countries affected by the exemption was “truncated”. Will go.

“This is not an indiscriminate ban”, asserted this source, while Ireland, among other countries, expressed its opposition to any complete “block” of exports. Belgium and the Netherlands called for caution while France and Germany strongly supported it.

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