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AstraZeneca must “catch up” before exporting outside the European Union, warns Ursula Von der Leyen

Brussels wants “companies to honor their contracts with the EU before exporting elsewhere in the world,” said the president of the European Commission.
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The Swedish-British laboratory AstraZeneca must “catch up” the significant delays in the delivery of its vaccine against Covid-19 in Europe, before exporting the doses produced there outside the European Union, warned the President of the European Commission on Thursday, March 25. AstraZeneca only delivered 30 of the 120 million doses promised to Europeans in the first quarter of 2021.

Brussels tightened its mechanism for controlling exports of these products on Wednesday, in order to drastically restrict them to countries producing doses themselves or whose population is already widely vaccinated. The objective is in particular that “companies honor their contracts with the EU before exporting elsewhere in the world”, underlined Ursula von der Leyen, at the end of a European summit by videoconference.

Brussels has also started discussions with the United Kingdom to try to find an agreement on the supply of vaccines.. Fortunately, the two sides are in talks and it looks like they could come to an agreement on Saturday [27 mars] or shortly after “Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said Thursday evening.

The EU has exported 21 million doses to the UK since December, without receiving in return any vaccine produced across the Channel, while its contract with AstraZeneca provided for deliveries from British factories. Discussions between Brussels and London focus in particular on a Dutch factory. This could supply the EU from the end of March, after its approval by the European regulator.

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