Daily US Times: European Commission Ursula von der Leyen has said that if Covid-19 vaccine supplies in Europe do not improve, the EU “will reflect whether exports to countries who have higher vaccination rates than us are still proportionate”.
Post-Brexit disagreements between the United Kingdom and the European Union have been heightened by the diplomatic row over the export of the coronavirus vaccines.
Charles Michel, the president of the European Council, claimed last week that the UK had imposed an “outright ban” on the export of vaccines and their components – there is no ban though, and his claim was dismissed by the British government as “completely false”.
But Mrs von der Leyen says the European Union is still waiting for exports from Britain, and it wants reciprocity.
The issue of Covid-19 vaccine exports from the EU and a potential ban is being raised because the EU countries is struggling to get enough supplies of vaccine to accelerate its own vaccination programme.
And the number one export destination for vaccines manufactured in the 27 nation bloc is the UK.
Mrs von der Leyen says that in six weeks 41m Covid-19 vaccine doses have been exported from the EU to 33 countries.
More than 10 million of them have gone to the United Kingdom. That is more than the total number of vaccines administered in the UK in the month of February, and (as of 17 March) more than a third of the total number of UK vaccinations so far.
It is worth emphasising that vaccine exports are not organised by the European Union itself, but by companies such as AstraZeneca and Pfizer, which use its territory as a global manufacturing base.
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