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  • The EU commission is calling for tighter controls on exports of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine produced inside the block.

  • Those calls come amid growing frustration at the vaccine makers decision to cut deliveries to you members.

  • The company is blaming supply chain problems, but Brussels has accused it of failing to keep contractual promises.

  • All 27 EU countries are struggling with slow vaccine rollouts.

  • This may sting a little, but it's over in the blink of an eye getting vaccinated.

  • Maybe a speedy affair.

  • But vaccine rollouts across the you have proved painstakingly slow blocks.

  • Executive is pointing the finger at the pharmaceutical industry.

  • The European Union wants the ordered and pre finance doses to be delivered as soon as possible, and we want our contract to be fully fulfilled.

  • That's a message for vaccine developer AstraZeneca.

  • The UK based firm recently announced it would be unable to fulfill its you orders in the agreed timeframe.

  • AstraZeneca says that's down to supply problems in the U Possibly here at the Belgium headquarter off Nova Sepp, a company that works with AstraZeneca to deliver a key vaccine components Thea AstraZeneca Jap is due to get the green light from EU regulators in the coming days.

  • So last minute news off a 60% cut in deliveries came as a nasty shock to lawmakers.

  • Here in Brussels, governments have been rolling out the red carpet for the pharmaceutical company.

  • We do not have the vaccine thanks to them.

  • But thanks to public funding, the public paid for the production capacity.

  • The deal to secure supplies off the AstraZeneca vaccine was an you first that brought a big smile to the health commissioners face.

  • Back in August 2020 the block purchased 300 million doses with the option two at AH 100 Million Mawr.

  • In other words, the European Union is AstraZeneca's biggest client.

  • It paid hundreds of millions of euros upfront in order to ensure smooth production and supply.

  • But with promises unfulfilled, the block is not a happy customer.

  • The big question is now.

  • Where have all those pre produced vaccine doses gone?

  • They may have been sold to the highest bidder elsewhere.

  • That's why physician and politician Peter Liza welcomes news that producers may soon be obliged to notify the you before they export any covert 19 vaccines outside the bloc.

  • We want to cooperate, but if others don't play fair, the European Commission has to show the weapons and the first step is to register.

  • The second step is an export ban.

  • Pharma giant Pfizer has also been in the firing line recently.

  • It to announced delays earlier this month citing production issues and its main site Here in Belgium.

  • Producers say they're moving as fast as they can, but in the race between vaccine and virus, every delay could cost lives.

  • That report from DWS Georg Mattis and he joins us now from Brussels, form or high Georg, help us understand this.

  • Is that you really implying here that AstraZeneca's that been selling the used doses of this vaccine to someone else?

  • Clearly assuming that is a concern here.

  • And if you look at the sheer numbers off vaccination, you can see that the UK has vaccinated, for instance, a 10 out of 100 residents.

  • Whereas the U is yet to reach two out of 100 residents, two doses per 100 residents and S O.

  • The concern clearly is has vaccine has the prepaid and brief funded vaccine that the U.

  • U has bite in the contract already been given to U.

  • K residents of course, in the UK, it's the approval has been given earlier in emergency approval and only a first vaccine doses given eso yet have to see when the second dose will be given.

  • So the UK is ahead.

  • But it concern clearly is, is the UK had because they had their hands on more vaccine that were meant to be for the U.

  • Gary.

  • What about this question of the export ban that you mentioned in your report that vaccine producers might have to notify the European Union before exporting?

  • How big of a difference could that make?

  • Well, so far, the U.

  • K, for instance, is not affected by the supply cut announced by AstraZeneca.

  • And AstraZeneca, of course, produces not only in the UK but also produces its vaccine in the U.

  • And now with this transparency mechanism that they use, suggesting it is a clear signal to the industry that they're now ready to play hardball.

  • Because, of course, what the you could do is say, we will look exactly how much vaccine is being delivered into the UK or so elsewhere into the world.

  • Uh, the U.

  • S, for instance, in case of AstraZeneca, hasn't even started approval.

  • So nothing has been going there.

  • But you can clearly monitor now where things are going, and in case they have the feeling that too much is going there, that should be going to Europe.

  • They could even introduce a ban.

  • Meanwhile, there have been reports in German media that the AstraZeneca vaccine is essentially ineffective for people over the age of 65 that really has stirred controversy.

  • Can you tell us more about those claims?

  • Clearly zooming?

  • I'm not a medical expert s so I can't exactly common on on that issue.

  • What I can tell you is that AstraZeneca has disputed thes rumors, as they say, And what I also can tell you is that in Europe, the medical agency is is now looking at tons of material from AstraZeneca, and what they will do is they will not given emergency approval.

  • But the normal approval of fast approval on day will give a recommendation per each H group, so we'll have to wait until the end of the week.

  • Most likely, that is when the approval from the European Medical Agency is expected.

  • Dws Gehrig Mattis reporting from Brussels.

  • Thank you.

  • So much well.

  • Germany's health minister declined to comment on those reports about AstraZeneca's efficacy this morning, but he has backed the U calls for more export controls on vaccines made in the block.

  • He told VW's chief political editor of Michela Cucina.

  • It's about fairness.

  • With me now is Germany's health minister, Jens Spahn, Mr Span.

  • So will you now ask the European Union to implement a registry for the export of vaccine outside the European Union?

  • It would be a good idea if companies had to obtain a license to export vaccines so that we can monitor which vaccine leaves the European Union after having bean produced or bottled.

  • In Europe.

  • Licensing does not mean a prohibition of exports, but that they at least need to be registered and approved.

  • And that will happen in many cases that it is approved.

  • We do not want to keep everything toe ourselves, but I want things to be fair so that when there are supply problems, the impact is felt by everyone and not just by the European Union.

  • This'll is an area where we are somewhat uncertain at the moment whether the consequences of problems and production are evenly distributed, the United States is following an America first policy, ensuring that each US citizen gets vaccinated before those exports take place.

  • Does the you now want to follow an you first strategy?

  • No, I'm talking about a fair share that we obtain a fair share of the material that we financed in advance.

  • After all, in almost all contracts that the European Union negotiated, we invested hundreds of millions of euros in advance so that production capacities could be established.

  • So it is not a matter of being first.

  • It is a matter of being fair.

  • That is the point here.

  • Unfair.

  • But of course we as Europe as the European Union, as the German federal government always stressed that we are also thinking about the supply of vaccines toe the rest of the world.

  • In the end, we're developing vaccines here in Europe, in Germany for the whole world.

  • It is our goal that others to can profit a soon as possible.

  • But one thing remains true.

  • I can't tell German and EU citizens that vaccines produced in Europe are available all over the world, but not in Europe during the occupation on your nation, Minister Spahn.

  • Thank you.

  • very much for the interview.

  • Okay, let's get some more perspective on the story.

  • Now we have Rob Watts from D W business with us.

  • Hi, Rob.

  • We heard Jens Spahn, the German health minister.

  • They're being pretty even handed on this question.

  • But we also have heard voices of riel, frustration and anger from the European Union.

  • Is that warranted?

  • Without doubt, they are angry because what we're talking about here is ah, contract EU has, as Jens Spahn was saying, invested hundreds of million's in this particular vaccine.

  • It got in good and early back in August.

  • It was the first vaccine that the you place in order for it gave its money over saying, Look, AstraZeneca, you could take some risks here in developing this vaccine on.

  • Then, when you've got it ready, you can get it to us a soon as we can approve it.

  • Now, if you believe what AstraZeneca is apparently telling the you, which is that they've had problems getting the materials for their vaccine and that they've had problems with the mechanics that one of their plants, then that's to some extent not under their control.

  • But if you believe what some U officials clearly do believe and that AstraZeneca is instead choosing to send its vaccines abroad to countries that there may be willing to pay a bit more.

  • Then yes, the u I suppose, has a justification for being angry, the Italians of particularly angry because they're going to get this quarter less than half of the eight million vaccines that they were expecting.

  • And they've gone so far as to say that they're going to launch legal action against AstraZeneca.

  • We may well see the same from the you.

  • This is all putting AstraZeneca under a lot of pressure, isn't it?

  • Yeah, and it's not the only pressure that they're under.

  • So we obviously, as you've already discussed, have the questions over its efficacy among the over 65.

  • But there were also discussions going on about the prices that AstraZeneca is charging.

  • Two different countries, for example, doesn't just produce them in Europe, it's vaccines.

  • It produces them also in India on South Africa, has just placed in order for 15 million doses from its Indian factory, and it's been charged $5.

  • 25 for that now.

  • The EU was charged just over $2 per dose.

  • So South Africa is being charged more than double what the EU is being charged.

  • So they're clearly questions to be answered over why wealthier nations appear to be paying less for this vaccine than less wealthy nations.

  • So there Ah, various battles being fought by AstraZeneca at the moment.

  • Very interesting.

  • Rob Watson, DW business.

  • Thank you so much.

  • Thank you.

The EU commission is calling for tighter controls on exports of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine produced inside the block.

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European Union plans tighter restrictions on vaccine exports | DW News

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    林宜悉 posted on 2021/01/26
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