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the tone is rising between the UK and the EU on vaccine exports

DECRYPTIONAs MEP Pascal Canfin expressed Thursday on Europe 1, a certain fed up has seized the 27 concerning the attitude of the United Kingdom and the AstraZeneca laboratory regarding vaccines against Covid-19. The Member States met by videoconference on Thursday at the end of the day, with the objective of obtaining by all possible means the doses provided for in the contracts with AstraZeneca, many of which are long overdue. A situation which has already led the European Union (EU) to tighten its controls on vaccine exports.

For the French executive, this European pressure on the United Kingdom is crucial. The government is counting on vaccination to get out of the rut, as the epidemic situation continues to deteriorate.

No dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine has traveled to the EU from the UK

The figures revealed by the European Commission to European leaders a few hours ago are startling. Since December, the EU has exported 21 million doses of vaccine to the UK. These were mainly produced by the Pfizer company. A huge figure when we know that 31 million doses have been inoculated across the Channel. So that means that these doses … come largely from the continent!

At the same time, however, no dose of AstraZeneca has traveled the other way. However, the laboratory has two factories in the United Kingdom.

Consequence: the Europeans have just acquired a new tool which makes it possible to block exports to countries which keep for themselves the vaccines produced on their territory. It therefore operates on a principle of reciprocity. Ultimately, it should above all make it possible to create a more “constructive” relationship with London. “It will not make vaccines appear by magic,” admits a European source to Europe 1. “But together, we can put pressure on AstraZeneca, which has only planned to deliver a third of the expected doses to Europe.”

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