By Chris King • 04 March 2021 • 18:01
ITALY And EU Block AstraZeneca Vaccine Shipment Destined For Australia
A scheduled 250,000 dose shipment of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Australia, from the company’s plant in Anagni near Rome, has been blocked from being exported by the Italian government and the EU, as reported by Reuters news agency.
This comes as a result of the British-Swedish drug manufacturer failing to adhere to its contractual obligation on agreed supplies, so the new Italian government, led by Mario Draghi, the former president of the European Central Bank, sent a request to Brussels, quoting a new export control system that came into law on 30 January, and EU chiefs signed off on it.
The pharmaceutical giant, at the end of January, after being pressured by Brussels, had agreed to deliver nine million additional doses in the first three months of the year, after they had announced a cut would have to be made in their original agreed supplies during the first quarter, due to output problems in their factories.
The new law was passed by the UE following the statement by AstraZeneca, which says that companies have to respect their contractual obligations to the EU before commercial exports can be approved, and this is the first time that any member state has used the new law.
It is now believed that the 250,000 doses will instead be distributed among the 27 EU states, with Italy’s Mario Draghi, taking a tough line in dealing with vaccine shortages, and reportedly, during a phone call yesterday (Wednesday 3) with Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission President, Mr Draghi said it was necessary to “suffocate” big pharmaceutical companies to force them to respect the agreed delivery terms.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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