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EU threatens to impose export controls on Covid vaccines

The EU has threatened to impose strict export controls on Covid vaccines o disrupt the UK’s supply of Pfizer jabs.

The EU has threatened to impose strict export controls on Covid vaccines made in the bloc in order to disrupt the UK’s supply of Pfizer jabs.

EU makes Covid vaccines threat

The UK Government said it was in “close contact” with vaccine suppliers after the European Commission made threats amid a row with AstraZeneca due to the paucity of doses allocated to member states.

As the EU faced blame for the slow rollout of vaccines in the bloc, the European Commission threatened to impose controls on vaccines that would affect the Belgium vaccine manufacturers Pfizer in delivering doses to the UK despite the private company’s contractual obligations.

Stella Kyriakides, the European health commissioner, accused pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, which worked with Oxford University on developing the vaccine, of failing to provide a valid reason for failing to deliver doses to the bloc in an attempt to offset blame for the EU’s own ineptitude and lack of organisational skills in ordering doses.

In a broadcast address, she said that an “export transparency mechanism” will be implemented “as soon as possible”. She added that the EU “will take any action required to protect its citizens and rights” in another dubious threat.

She said: “In the future, all companies producing vaccines against Covid-19 in the EU will have to provide early notification whenever they want to export vaccines to third countries.

Despite this, the UK Government is still confident that vaccine supply, with the AstraZeneca jab largely being made in Oxfordshire and Staffordshire, will ensure it meets its first target with a spokeswoman saying: “We remain in close contact with all of our vaccine suppliers. Our vaccine supply and scheduled deliveries will fully support offering the first dose to all four priority groups by February 15.”

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