After the EU Commission established a mechanism for surveillance of the exports of vaccines produced within the Union after the supply crisis with the vaccine manufacturer AstraZeneca, Italy was the first country to implement the export barrier.
The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not allow the 250,000 doses of vaccine produced by AstraZeneca to be sent to Australia, a country outside the EU. It was noted that the vaccines were produced at the company’s facilities in Italy, and the vaccines were not approved for export, as vaccines were scarce in the EU and Italy.
Italy argued that, despite the situation of the epidemic in Europe, the increasing number of cases, Australia should block exports due to the fact that the situation in terms of the epidemic is better and it does not have an urgent need. It was reported that the Italian authorities demanded the export barrier and the EU approved this.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated that blocking of exports is understandable, and that this will not affect his country’s vaccine program. “300 people die a day in Italy. I understand the great concern that exists in many countries in Italy and Europe,” Morrison said, adding that there was a crisis in Europe, but not in Australia.
The Australian press announced that Health Minister Greg Hunt has asked the EU Commission to reconsider Italy’s decision.
IS VACCINE NATIONALISM MADE?
While Italy’s blocking of vaccine exports to Australia brought up “vaccine nationalism” claims, Australian Prime Minister Morrison denied these allegations and drew attention to more vaccine imports from the EU. 300,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine were sent to Australia last week. These vaccines started being administered to staff at risk on Friday. It is estimated that the current vaccines, together with the vaccines supplied by BioNTech / Pfizer, will be sufficient for Australia until local production begins at the end of the month. It is planned to produce 50 million doses of vaccine in Australia.
While a total of 25 thousand cases were detected in Australia, which has a population of approximately 25 million, 900 people died in the epidemic. The vaccination program in the country started last month.
GERMANY: WE HAVE NO REASON TO PREVENT EXPORT
German Health Minister Jens Spahn said in a statement on the subject that drug manufacturers should adhere to contracts with European countries, but on the other hand, Germany does not yet have a reason to prevent vaccines produced in the country from being exported to other countries.
The EU Commission had ordered 300 million doses of vaccine from AstraZeneca and included an additional 100 million order options in the contract. However, the company announced that it could only deliver 40 percent of the promised amount by the end of March. The EU accused the company of failing to fulfill its contractual commitments and of continuing in full delivery to the UK while cutting shipments to the EU.
After the supply crisis with AstraZeneca, the EU Commission established a mechanism for surveillance of the exports of vaccines produced within the Union. Within the framework of the mechanism, the EU can prevent exports in certain situations.
AstraZeneca cited the problems in the production chain in Europe as the reason for the restriction of deliveries to EU countries. The company has factories in Belgium and the Netherlands within the EU.
THERE IS THE CORONA VIRUS STRESS