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UK and EU move to ease tensions over access to jabs

The UK and EU have moved to ease tensions over access to coronavirus vaccination, despite Brussels’ top policy makers accusing the UK of “vaccine nationalism” in responding to a pandemic.

The UK and the European Commission issued a joint statement on Wednesday, stating that there was discussion on building a “mutually beneficial relationship” to tackle Covid-19.

The statement promised that both sides would work together to “create a situation of mutual benefit and expand vaccine supply to all citizens.” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson insisted he didn’t want to see the Tit-for-Tat vaccine war.

The UK has offered to help increase production of AstraZeneca vaccine at its Harix plant in Leiden, the Netherlands, and Downing Street has “partially claimed some of the millions of doses the UK has contracted. It does not exclude “give up”. The EU also claims vaccines.

But Britain’s Secretary of Health and Welfare Matt Hancock said it would make a serious mistake if the EU began to block vaccine exports to the UK, including the shipment of Dutch-made AstraZeneca doses.

“I believe free traders obey contract law,” he told the Financial Times. Mentioning the EU’s AstraZeneca contract, he said: “They have a” best effort “contract and we have an exclusive contract. “

He said both sides were aiming to resolve the dispute and the talks were “cooperative, practical and cooperative”. But he added: It’s called contract law — it’s very easy. ”

In the future, life sciences companies will be based in the UK rather than the protected trade EU, Hancock said. “In the UK we can export anywhere in the world. We are not going to stop it.”

However, EU internal market commissioner Thierry Breton said the UK needs to recognize its dependence on EU vaccines and show greater “reciprocity” in its transactions.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson (left) speaks with warehouse supervisor Lawrence Wilkinson during a January visit to Oxford BioMedica, where the Oxford / AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine is manufactured © Heathcliff O ‘Malley / Pool / AFP / Getty

“I feel that vaccine nationalism is really on the other side of the channel,” he said in an interview with the Financial Times. Despite “solidarity” with the EU’s British citizens, he added: “I haven’t seen the vaccine arrive here in the UK.”

Breton said he would like to put pressure on AstraZeneca and explain why the company was so successful in achieving its commitment to Britain rather than Brussels.

Comments were made when EU leaders prepared to discuss controversial new rules aimed at tightening regulations at the European Council meeting on Thursday. vaccine export. The new regulations aim to limit exports to countries where vaccine production cannot be shared.

Breton is leading the Commission’s efforts to boost vaccine production in the EU as Brussels seeks to recover from AstraZeneca’s massive delivery shortage in the first quarter of this year. London and Brussels are discussing how to handle their conflicting claims about the delivery of the Oxford / AstraZeneca jabs.

Breton is optimistic about the second quarter vaccine delivery in the EU, but has not yet received a satisfactory explanation of the “big disappointment” in AstraZeneca’s delivery to the EU during the first three months of the year. Clarified.

Breton said the company provided 100% of what it promised to the UK in the first quarter, but was expected to ship only about a quarter of what it promised to the EU.

He argued that if AstraZeneca had fully fulfilled its promise to the EU, Brock would have been in a much better position to match the UK vaccination rate. He complained that he had not received a consistent explanation of what was happening from AstraZeneca. The company said it is making “best efforts” to increase supply, as required by a contract signed with the Commission in August.

Breton supports a proposal to strengthen vaccine export regulations promoted by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and the UK is “significantly dependent” on the EU, which is appropriate for both trades on vaccines. Said that it needs to be reflected in.

The proposed export rules are Backlash However, among EU member states, some northern capitals are concerned that stricter export restrictions risk damaging the EU’s reputation as a trusted player in the global healthcare supply chain.

AstraZeneca could deliver up to 30 million doses by the end of March, compared to the maximum of 120 million doses targeted in the contract signed by the company and the European Commission in August. ..

If the EU received and administered the originally expected dose of AstraZeneca, the EU would have raised it from 13.6. Jab Approximately 36 per 100 inhabitants, according to extrapolation from FT vaccine tracker data. It would put it around 38.7 in the US, but still behind 45.9 in the UK.

Breton did not disagree with the statement about the 29 m dose identified at the AstraZeneca plant. Italy After the commission-ordered tests were directed to the EU and the Covax International Vaccine Initiative, which primarily targets low-income countries. The Commission’s question about the fate of production highlighted the collapse of relations with AstraZeneca.

UK and EU move to ease tensions over access to jabs

Source link UK and EU move to ease tensions over access to jabs

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