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European Union threatens ban on COVID vaccine exports to UK

European Union threatens ban on COVID vaccine exports to UK”

In what appeared to be a veiled threat to the United Kingdom, following an ongoing row about the supply of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen told reporters in Brussels the EU was seeking to block exports of coronavirus vaccines to countries with higher vaccination rates.

Ursula von der Leyen says the European Union is exporting a lot to countries that are themselves producing vaccines, and that this is an invitation to be open, so that the European Union can also see exports from them.

"We're sourcing vaccines from all over the world and we are experiencing occasionally some issues and that's led to this, this issue with some supply in the coming weeks", he said.

He said the country remained on track to have vaccinated priority groups by April 15 and all adults by the end of July.

But he added: "Frankly, I'm surprised we're having this conversation".

Mrs von der Leyen said Brussels was considering using the so-called Article 122 - last used in the 1970s - to seize control of vaccination factories, ban exports and tear up patents for the Oxford jabs.

She also told how the European Union expects to get tens of millions of doses less of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab than she said it had ordered.

Meanwhile, Mr Stubb, who stood against Ms von der Leyen in the race to be European Commission president, claimed her comments were actually created to motivate member states to increase the speed of the vaccine rollout.

Ms von der Leyen said "all options are on the table" because "we are in the crisis of the century" in comments which raise the possibility that stocks of Pfizer vaccine manufactured in Belgium could be prevented from going to Britain.

"We want reliable deliveries of vaccines, we want increase in the contracts, we want to see reciprocity and proportionality in exports and we are ready to use whatever tool we need to deliver on that.

And this is why we need to ensure that there is reciprocity and proportionality".

The top eurocrat made the grab to secure "Europe's fair share" of vaccines from Britain.

More news: Unconfirmed AstraZeneca concerns hampering vaccination efforts

"By not using the vaccine, this is going to directly lead to an increased incidence of Covid infection and people will die as a effect of these decisions."Sweden and Latvia have followed Germany, France and Spain in temporarily suspending AstraZeneca jabs in light of a small number of reports of bleeding, blood clots and low blood platelet counts".

Asked if he believed the vaccine export threat to be reasonable, he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: 'I think it is actually political reality.

"What they are saying is very, very unhelpful".

"I would recommend people to take it".

"I think it takes some explaining because the world's watching ... it also cuts across the direct assurances that we had from the commission", he said.

Several EU nations are waiting for reassurance from the bloc's medicines regulator, due tomorrow, before restarting use of the AZ jab.

Ministers yesterday condemned Brussels" "brinkmanship" after Ms von der Leyen complained the bloc is sending millions of doses to other countries while receiving few in return as she warned of action to ensure "reciprocity'.

With less than a 10th of the bloc's population inoculated, the European Commission said the epidemiological situation was worsening.

She outlined plans for more vaccines to come on stream in coming months.

Southern EU countries reliant on tourism and other proponents of the new Covid-19 certificate hope it would win final approvals in June and go online just in time for the peak season.

France is set to announce new coronavirus restrictions on Thursday, including a potential lockdown in the Paris region and in the north of the country, as the number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care units rises.



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