EU to urge US to export doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to Europe

The European Union will urge the United States to permit the export of millions of doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine to Europe.

The EU is scrambling the bridge supply shortfalls, the Financial Times reported, and has turned to the US for help.

The EU also wants Washington to ensure the free flow of shipments of crucial vaccine ingredients needed in European production, according to the FT.

“We trust that we can work together with the U.S. to ensure that vaccines produced or bottled in the U.S. for the fulfilment of vaccine producers’ contractual obligations with the EU will be fully honoured,” the newspaper quoted the European Commission as saying.

The EU is urgently trying its boost the vaccine rollout after trailing behind the UK and the US.

The news follows more EU vaccine drama yesterday, which saw Boris Johnson challenging the EU’s decision to approve the blockade of 250,000 doses of the Astrazeneca vaccine from being shipped to Australia – a move that sparked fear of vaccine hoarding.

Thursday Italy announced it had blocked the shipment of vaccines made at its Anagni plant near Rome after the British-Swedish drug manufacturer failed to meet its EU contract commitments.

The European Commission gave newly-appointed Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi the green light over the decision, after agreeding that there was a risk of breach of the EU’s advance purchase agreements.

But in a stern warning to the EU, Johnson’s official spokesman noted that Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, had previously assured the Prime Minister that fresh restriction laws would not be used to block vaccine shipments.

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