E.U. Set to Curb Covid Vaccine Exports for 6 Weeks

UK's vaccine success spurred by capitalism and greed, says Johnson

"We will consider: Reciprocity: whether the destination country restricts its own exports of vaccines or their raw materials, either by law or other means and Proportionality: the epidemiological situation in the destination country, its vaccination rate and vaccine stocks", the statement published on Twitter read.

Since Feb. 1, the European Union blocked only one out of more than 300 exports, a small shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines to Australia, on the grounds that the country was almost Covid-free while the bloc was struggling with rising infections.

The sources claimed the bloc's revised COVID-19 vaccine-related rules would be presented by von der Leyen during the weekly College of Commissioners meeting later on Wednesday.

Rome previously refused a permit for 250,000 AstraZeneca doses that were due to be sent to Australia, the only refusal so far in a permit system under which 41 million Covid-19 vaccines were exported from the bloc since the start of February, a quarter of them to Britain.

The insider asserted that the new mechanism would potentially allow the European Commission to block shipments of the AstraZeneca, BioNTech/Pfizer, and Moderna vaccines to the UK.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU has approved the export of some 41 million vaccine doses to 33 countries in the last six weeks and believes that it stands at the forefront of global vaccine-sharing efforts.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Britain did not believe in imposing vaccine blockades.

European Union officials stressed the proposed export measures were drawn up to give the bloc maximum flexibility to deal with existing problems and future disputes with vaccine makers or other nations. "So it's one contract which we have a serious problem".

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab also addressed the issue, telling Reuters he thinks the European Commission's move "takes some explaining because the world's watching", adding that the step "also cuts across the direct assurances that we had" from EU authorities.

The question is which contract will they go to fulfil after steep shortfalls in AstraZeneca deliveries to the European Union slowed the bloc's rollout, and with Britain also facing a squeeze in its supply that London has blamed on manufacturing delays in India. All options are on the table.

The European Union is only prepared to let the United Kingdom take a small portion of AstraZeneca Plc's output from the Netherlands as it battles to get its immunization program back on track.

The vaccine was viewed skeptically by some nations as Russian Federation began distributing it to some European countries before it was evaluated by regulatory agencies - including the EMA and the World Health Organization.

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