EU threatens to stop AstraZeneca vaccine supply to UK

The European Union executive has stated that AstraZeneca could face export bans to countries outside the bloc if it does not speed up delivery of the promised amount of vaccines.

The move comes as the European Commission increases pressure on pharmaceutical companies to accelerate their vaccine delivery to the continent as virus cases rise in many member countries.

The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “We have the possibility to ban planned exports.

“This is a message to AstraZeneca: you do your part of the business with Europe before you start delivering to other countries.”

In an interview with the German media group Funke, Ms. von der Leyen said that the contract between the EU and AstraZeneca clearly regulates how much vaccines the EU receives from AstraZeneca’s plants in the EU and Great Britain.

However, Frau von der Leyen added: “We did not get anything from the British while we were supplying them with vaccines.”

She said the Commission had sent AstraZeneca a “formal reminder” on the matter.

AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine is one of three vaccines approved in the EU.

However, its use has been overshadowed by several issues, including a slow start, recurring delivery issues and a temporary ban for several days earlier this week in many EU member states following reports of blood clots in some recipients of the vaccine.

Most of the countries in the EU resumed AstraZeneca shocks on Friday as infection rates rose across the continent.

The Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine, cheaper and easier to store than others, is seen as critical in ending the coronavirus pandemic.

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