The European Union is ready to keep COVID-19 personnel out of the UK, risking a sharp deterioration in relations with London in a bid to reverse its immunization campaign.
The EU is likely to deny AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccines and their components to the UK while the pharmacist fulfills its obligations to the 27-nation bloc, says a senior EU official.
The conflict between the EU and the UK has been escalating since Astra informed Brussels that it would not deliver on the promised number of shootings in the first quarter. Both sides accuse each other of export curbs and nationalism, creating a risk of the fragile post-Soviet relations agreed in December. Astra has been at the center of EU vaccination issues since production problems emerged in January. Filming has recently been temporarily suspended in much of Europe for fear of blood clots.
Although the EU drug regulator backed the vaccine last week, the results of a US trial released on Monday said there were no security concerns, and public confidence in the shooting in Europe had plummeted. Most people in Germany, France, Italy and Spain now consider the vaccine safe, according to a YouGov poll published by The Telegraph on Monday.
The EU, which has promised to vaccinate 70% of adults by the end of September, is struggling to overcome the slow start of the vaccination campaign. According to Bloomberg’s Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker, the alliance delivered 12 doses per 100 people, less than a third of what the UK ruled. The UK vaccinated more than 1.5 million people on Friday and Saturday, setting daily records for consecutive days.
The European Commission said last week that it would restrict the export of vaccines to countries that do not compensate or already have high vaccination rates. The UK is the largest recipient of doses in the EU, receiving 10 million 42 million shots from the bloc so far.
Last week, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris John Onson, and the Chair of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, addressed the audience. A new round of high-level diplomacy is expected among the leaders ahead of the Brussels summit.
“Vaccine nationalism, such breathtaking speculation about supply constraints are of no use to anyone,” Helen Watley, Britain’s junior health minister, told Sky News on Monday. Von der Leyen “pledged to the Prime Minister that the EU will not prevent companies from fulfilling their contractual obligations to supply vaccines,” he said, urging the EU to “actively live up to that commitment.”
According to the EU official, the alliance has contracts with Astra that are not respected, և any vaccine produced in European factories և their components will be reserved for local deliveries. The official asked not to be named, as the decisions are under discussion and have not been made public.
EU leaders meeting this week will discuss the plan. Countries, including Italy and France, say they are ready to study the export ban, while other countries, such as Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands, warn of the impact on European companies, according to a diplomatic note seen by Bloomberg. :
AstraZeneca, one of four vaccines approved by the bloc, is now expected to reach 30 million staff by the end of this month, less than half of its initial commitment.
John Onson has been calling EU leaders in recent days over the dispute, including Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Alexander de Croo of Belgium, ready for more talks ahead of this week’s summit, said a person familiar with the matter.
Pfizer warns that the free movement of supplies between the UK and the EU could play a key role in the production of its vaccines. Lipid production. The fatty material used to transmit the genetic material underlying the Pfizer vaccine, which Pfizer prepares with its German counterpart BioNTech, takes place in a secret UK location prior to delivery to the EU where the shots are taken.
The EU official added that there were no UK export requirements for the Astra plant in the Netherlands, but that this would likely be rejected. In the Netherlands ող A factory in Belgium produces components for the Astra frame.
“In principle, the Netherlands allows exports to continue until the European Commission says otherwise,” the Dutch government said on Sunday. “It is of paramount importance that Brussels, London and AstraZeneca immediately reach an agreement on the vaccines produced by the company in the facilities under the two contracts.”
The EU is not alone in its supply problems. The United Kingdom begins a “significant” four-week cut in COVID-19 vaccine supplies in late March. Delayed shipment of Astra vaccine from India ը Batch, which requires retesting, are the cause of the failures.
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told Sky News on Sunday that the EU should allow Astra to continue supplying Britain, warning that the bloc would pay a high price if it tried to intervene.
“The commission knows in depth that this will be counterproductive,” he said. “They are under enormous political pressure in the European Commission. “It will damage EU relations globally.” A spokesman for John Onson declined to comment on Wallace’s remarks.