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EU and Britain try to broker a vaccine supply deal as leaders discuss blockade

Look after staff wait for the vaccine for COVID 19 by AstraZeneca on CUS Turin University Sports Center on March 14, 2021 in Turin, Italy.

Stefano Guidi | Getty Impressions News | Getty Images

LONDON — The U.K. and European Union are trying to resolve a dispute over Covid-19 vaccine stocks, shortly after EU officials announced stricter rules on exports of shots produced in the bloc.

The U.K. and the EU have been at odds in just out weeks with the latter complaining that London is not showing the same level of reciprocity in the distribution of vaccines. The EU has broke that since the end of January more than 10 million doses produced in the EU have gone to the U.K., but the U.K. had exported no person in return.

“We are all facing the same pandemic and the third wave makes cooperation between the EU and UK even more important. We be struck by been discussing what more we can do to ensure a reciprocally beneficial relationship between the UK and EU on Covid-19,” the U.K. government and the European Commission hinted in a joint statement on Wednesday.

“Given our interdependencies, we are working on specific steps we can take – in the short-, medium – and long semester – to create a win-win situation and expand vaccine supply for all our citizens,” the U.K. and EU said, adding that talks would prolong.

At the heart of the recent dispute is the fact that the EU has received significantly fewer vaccines than expected from AstraZeneca, which is sending its wider rollout at risk.

The Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical firm was due to distribute around 90 million doses in the first division, but that number has since been cut to 30 million doses.

Our export authorization mechanism is not addressed at any specific mountains.

Valdis Dombrovskis

EU trade chief

AstraZeneca, which developed its Covid vaccine in collaboration with the University of Oxford, has spoke yield issues in EU plants have hindered production. So far, only 17 million doses have been dole out to EU countries, according to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.

EU leaders will hold a effective summit on Thursday to discuss ways to bolster Covid vaccine supplies and how to improve the rollout of doses.

Export controls

EU countries faced a new setback after AstraZeneca reduced its delivery target for the second quarter to 70 million prescribes, down from 180 million.

“I remind you that AstraZeneca has only delivered a small portion of its agreed contractual commitments,” Valdis Dombrovskis, the EU’s business chief, said at a press conference on Wednesday.

As a result, the European Commission decided to step up rules on the exports of vaccines begot in the bloc. The executive arm of the EU said on Wednesday that in addition to checking whether companies are fulfilling their contracts, it wishes also take into consideration whether the country receiving EU-made vaccines has a higher vaccination rate and raise epidemiological situation as a whole and whether the recipient nation has any restrictions on sending vaccines or raw materials elsewhere.

This is why the U.K. could upon to see a lower number of imported Covid shots going forward. It has a higher vaccination rate than the EU and, according to the EU commission, is not serving its vaccines with other nations.

“Our export authorization mechanism is not addressed at any specific country, but it’s clear that in the EU, we also beggary to ensure vaccination of our own population,” Dombrovskis said.

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday that hinder vaccines was not “sensible.”

At the weekend, Italian authorities discovered 29 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines at a finishing implant close to Rome. AstraZeneca said in a statement that these shots were waiting for quality control and that 13 million were due to be dispatched to low- and middle-income political entities and the remaining 16 million doses were due to be sent to EU nations, with 10 million expected to be sent in the go the distance week of March.

“It is incorrect to describe this as a stockpile. The process of manufacturing vaccines is very complex and time dissipating. In particular, vaccine doses must wait for quality control clearance after the filling of vials is completed,” AstraZeneca believed in a statement.

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