EU may block exports of coronavirus vaccines worldwide




The EU plans to instruct its customs authorities to block the export of vaccines if they do not have prior authorization. This was reported by the publication Politico.

It said that on Thursday, January 28, Brussels decided to introduce a mechanism by which the EU countries would be able to block the export of vaccines. This information was confirmed by two sources in the EU leadership.

It is reported that the discussion concerning the measures of customs control of vaccines lasted for several days, but the supporters of strict control won, which became possible after the tension with the Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca (apparently, we mean the fact that the company stated its inability to supply vaccines in the previously announced volumes).

According to the European Commission's plan, the EU will instruct its customs authorities to block exports of vaccines if they do not receive prior approval. The scheme is to be signed by experts from the 27 member states, at a session expected tomorrow, January 29.

EU countries will issue such permits only after making sure that vaccine manufacturers deliver the vaccine doses promised in their “previous purchase agreements” with the EU.

Since both Pfizer/BioNTech and Astra Zeneca are likely to default, this would allow the EU to block exports.

At the same time, according to the publication, such restrictions will not affect vaccines for poor countries, allocated under the COVAX program.

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer has previously announced a reduction in the rate of supply of vaccines due to the modernization of production.

The firm said it is expanding its production capacity: it plans to produce 2 billion doses a year instead of the 1.3 billion doses its plants are capable of now. According to preliminary forecasts, the situation will change in February.

Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Sweden, and Estonia sent a letter to the European Commission, in which they resented the reduction of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine supplies.



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TAGS: EUROPEAN UNION, VACCINE, CORONAVIRUS

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