EU vaccine row ‘may influence a 3rd covid wave’ says knowledgeable
Speaking at the moment, the director-general of the WTO Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, voiced her concern over measures used to make sure vaccine provides go to member states first, earlier than leaving the EU. At a web-based occasion she mentioned: “While we perceive the politics of what they’re doing – I’ve mentioned brazenly I’m disillusioned, significantly in the truth that they prolonged it from March. “I am actively talking to them about how we can make sure this restriction can be dealt with.”
On March 11, the Commission extended the transparency and authorisation mechanism for vaccine exports.
What this did, was force vaccine suppliers who have a pre-agreement in place, to deliver to EU member states up to the number of vaccines included within the contract.
A coronavirus vaccine must also receive approval before leaving the bloc to be delivered to a non-EU state.
Initially put in place on January 30, the extension means measures will now last until June this year.
The EU has been scolded over its vaccine ploy
The EU was criticised by the WTO chief
Despite international leaders claiming the fight against coronavirus is an international battle, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides, claimed the measures taken will make companies fulfil their obligation to the EU.
Announcing the measures earlier this month, Ms Kyriakides said: “We expect companies with which we have signed a contract to fulfil their obligations towards EU citizens.
“The EU exports very significant volumes of COVID-19 vaccines, true to our commitment to global solidarity.
“Yet, not all companies are honouring their agreements with the EU despite having received a down payment to enable sufficient production.
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The EU has threatened to block vaccine exports
“We will insist that compliance is ensured and we will continue to work with companies to ramp up production in Europe as quickly as possible.”
Despite signing agreements for six vaccines, the EU has come under extreme scrutiny over its threats to dam exports.
Indeed, the mechanism was initially introduced in after the EU threatened to invoke Article 16 of the Brexit deal to cease vaccine exports earlier than rescinding the threat.
The EU as soon as once more reiterated this threat amid its row with AstraZeneca over its personal vaccine.
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EU leaders will maintain a summit on Thursday to debate measures over vaccine exports, one thing Ursula von der Leyen has indicated is nicely throughout the bloc’s rights.
Ms von der Leyen mentioned: “We have the option of banning a planned export.
“That’s the message to AstraZeneca: you fulfil your contract with Europe first earlier than you begin supplying to different nations.”
Her claims, however, have not been supported by some EU leaders with even Angela Merkel now claiming the EU must not block vaccine exports.
After a call with Boris Johnson, Ms Merkel said: “When it involves vaccine manufacturing, there’s a enormous vary of worldwide interdependencies.
“You have to be very careful now about imposing general export bans – you have to take a very close look at the supply chains.
“We will make our decision in a responsible manner, and at the same time we will keep talking to the British government.”
Irish Prime Minister Micheal Martin also claimed any block on vaccine exports would be damaging for the EU.
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He told RTE radio: “Once you begin placing up obstacles, different individuals begin placing up obstacles globally.
“We’d all lose in that situation, notwithstanding the frustrations with AstraZeneca.
“I’m very much against it. It would be a very retrograde step.
“It’s absolutely vital we keep supply chains open.”