Jump to content

EU blames AstraZeneca as vaccine battle with UK deepens


Recommended Posts

2021-03-22T114502Z_1_LYNXMPEH2L0Y0_RTROPTP_4_HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-EU-VACCINES.JPG

FILE PHOTO: Vials labelled "COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine" and syringes are seen in front of a displayed EU flag in this illustration taken, February 9, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

 

By Paul Sandle and John Chalmers

 

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain on Monday demanded the European Union allow the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines it has ordered as tensions over a possible export ban on EU-manufactured shots mounted and Brussels pointed an accusing finger at drugmaker AstraZeneca.

 

"The UK is not to blame. The EU is not to blame," said an EU official. "It's about everyone finding agreement with a company that has been over-selling its production capacity."

 

After falling far behind post-Brexit Britain and the United States in rolling out vaccines, EU leaders are due to discuss a possible ban on vaccine exports to Britain at a summit on Thursday.

 

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke on Sunday to the EU's most powerful leaders, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, to steer them away from bans.

 

Johnson's spokesman declined to comment on whether Britain, which exited the 27-nation EU's orbit on Dec. 31, was considering retaliatory measures.

 

"I am not going to get into hypotheticals but our position is clear is that we do not want to see countries placing export restrictions on vaccinations," he said.

 

AstraZeneca has told Brussels that the UK is using a clause in its supply contract that prevents exports of its vaccines until the British market is fully served, EU officials said.

 

The European Commission, which has coordinated vaccine orders for the EU, said reciprocity was key. The EU has exported some 35 million doses since the end of January, including 10 million to Britain, but Britain has exported none, even though two UK facilities feature in the EU's contract with AstraZeneca.

 

The EU executive sent a letter of formal notice to the company last week, the first step in a dispute procedure.

 

"What our position is, is that we expect AstraZeneca to deliver the doses to the European Union that have been contracted. Contacts are ongoing with the company," chief Commission spokesman Eric Mamer told a news conference.

He said the EU was also in talks with Britain on the issue, but did not give further details.

 

FRANCE, GERMANY, ITALY SUPPORT CURBS

While France, Germany and Italy broadly support tighter export curbs on those who do not reciprocate, countries including the Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland are more cautious about cutting off the UK.

 

Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin said any EU restrictions on vaccine exports would be a "retrograde step".

 

German government spokeswoman Martina Fietz said Berlin favoured reviewing EU rules on vaccine exports because "a lot of vaccine is sent from the EU to third countries" but "virtually nothing is exported from Britain or the United States".

The EU has so far blocked one shipment of vaccines to Australia.

 

An EU official told Reuters on Sunday that the bloc was rebuffing British government calls to ship AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines produced in a factory in the Netherlands, although the company has not made a formal export request.

 

"The Brits are insisting that the Halix plant in the Netherlands must deliver the drug substance produced there to them. That doesn't work," the official told Reuters.

 

The Leiden-based plant, run by sub-contractor Halix, is listed as a supplier of vaccines in both the contracts that AstraZeneca has signed with Britain and with the European Union.

 

AstraZeneca has not yet sought approval for vaccines produced at Halix to be used in the EU, but EU officials said the request was on its way.

 

As of March 20, the UK had administered nearly 44 vaccines for every 100 people, whereas the EU had administered nearly 13 shots per 100 people, according to public data compiled by Our World In Data website.

 

(Reporting by Paul Sandle, Elizabeth Piper and Sarah Young in London, John Chalmers and Philip Blenkinsop in Brussels, and by Thomas Escritt in Berlin; Editing by Nick Macfie)

 

reuters_logo.jpg

-- © Copyright Reuters 2021-03-23
 
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 400
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

The EU seems to be getting very good at blaming everyone else for their own failings. Why they want to pursue this battle with the AZ vaccine baffles me.  The mistrust and hesitancy towards the AZ vac

After years of being shot down by a Junker Boris has at last delivered on a promise and out gunned the fools of Brussels suck it up Ursula 🤔

As much as failing on the EU side as on the British side. See first sentence.   No actions over the last 2 months that caused anything.    It’s completely irrelevant whether and h

Posted Images

3 hours ago, brommers said:

Thailand is 90% dependant on Astra Zeneca for its long promised mass vaccination roll out. Seeing that AZ is utterly incompetent in running established factories in Europe there can be no confidence in their Thai supplier which has a brand new factory and has never before produced a vaccine. Just wait, in 6 weeks time there is going to be the first declared revision to the June start date and this country will be left with little or no doses for weeks or months. 

i agree that the thai manufacturer has little experience  but AZ and the way the vaccines produced can change from each batch the growth rates of the virus can alter in the vats and mediums ,that cannot be controlled according to my reading.perhaps thats incorrect but it is given in several accs

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, cocoonclub said:

Of course you are entitled to that opinion but it’s legally irrelevant.
 

The EU has customers it needs to supply. It has its own contractual obligation to supply countries like Germany, France etc. So it is absolutely right to pass that onto its own supplier when such supplier is fulfilling his contract. 

Especially when many are going into a third lockdown in many parts of their countries.

Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, rupert the bear said:

i agree that the thai manufacturer has little experience  but AZ and the way the vaccines produced can change from each batch the growth rates of the virus can alter in the vats and mediums ,that cannot be controlled according to my reading.perhaps thats incorrect but it is given in several accs

I can’t comment on how competent AZ is.  What can see is that Thailand made some bad decisions on ensuring a supply of the vaccine.  It would have been prudent to scale up the local production more slowly.  At the same time, have secured supply and regulatory clearance of other proven vaccines.  I do believe that we will find out that the locally produced vaccine from AZ is unable to be brought up to factory scale production (which very likely is the reason AZ is having they problems they are in Europe).

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, brommers said:

Thailand is 90% dependant on Astra Zeneca for its long promised mass vaccination roll out. Seeing that AZ is utterly incompetent in running established factories in Europe there can be no confidence in their Thai supplier which has a brand new factory and has never before produced a vaccine. Just wait, in 6 weeks time there is going to be the first declared revision to the June start date and this country will be left with little or no doses for weeks or months. 

Is that of concern considering the way Thailand has dealt with the pandemic.

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Kwasaki said:

Especially when many are going into a third lockdown in many parts of their countries.

Yes, you can add the moral obligation towards the European citizens to the contractual obligations towards the EU procurement program’s customers. 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Kwasaki said:

Especially when many are going into a third lockdown in many parts of their countries.

 

If you are going to use that as a measure of success, remember that we here in the UK have been in our third lockdown since the 6th January!

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, Bkk Brian said:

If thats an ethical criteria then I suggest looking at how long the UK has been in lockdown

I don't need to look at anything my UK family are OK and how quick is UK going come out of it compared to the EU gang. 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Kwasaki said:

I don't need to look at anything my UK family are OK and how quick is UK going come out of it compared to the EU gang. 

 

I'm glad your family in the UK are OK.

 

Many are not; especially the families of the 125,933 who have died.

 

Things are improving, though; as of 23rd March we have dropped to fifth in the table of deaths per million of the population. New cases in the UK are falling, with a corresponding fall in deaths.

 

Is that due to the vaccine roll out or lockdown? Probably the latter as we wont really know the effects of the vaccine until lockdown has ended.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, 7by7 said:

Is that due to the vaccine roll out or lockdown? Probably the latter as we wont really know the effects of the vaccine until lockdown has ended.

I disagree - I don't see much evidence of a lockdown this time. Maybe non essential retail is closed but people still mix in other stores with little evidence of social distancing. There's also a lot more stores open this time - it seems amazing just what is classed as essential. In the first lockdown just about everything except food stores was closed.

 

I live in a tourist area and we have groups of walkers and cyclists passing every weekend.  A couple of weeks ago I was on the M62 and it was rammed full of traffic, most people I know are going to work - compared to March 2020 it seems pretty normal outside.

 

When the kids went back to school last September, new infections rose immediately. This time they went back to school 2 weeks ago and infections continue to fall. I'm convinced that the falling numbers of cases, hospitalisations and deaths in the UK is due to vaccination.

Edited by KhaoYai
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...