European Commission ready to tighten screws on EU COVID vaccine export regulations

European Commission ready to tighten screws on EU COVID vaccine export regulations
  • Clock-gray 13:11
  • calendar-gray 24 March 2021

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen may make a proposal to tighten the EU's coronavirus vaccine export regulations in order to give Brussels more power to block shipments, including to Britain and other vaccine-producing countries, APA reports citing Politico.

The sources claimed the bloc's revised COVID-19 vaccine-related rules would be presented by von der Leyen during the weekly College of Commissioners meeting later on Wednesday.

One of the insiders argued the new rules would add several provisions to cover the concepts of "reciprocity" and "proportionality", meaning that the EU's vaccine shipments could be blocked to countries that don't show reciprocity by exporting domestically-made doses.

Additionally, no EU vaccine supplies will be delivered to those countries that have achieved much higher vaccination rates among their populations than the EU.

The insider asserted that the new mechanism would potentially allow the European Commission to block shipments of the AstraZeneca, BioNTech/Pfizer, and Moderna vaccines to the UK.

The claims come a week after Ursula von der Leyen threatened to take tougher measures to curb the EU's exports of COVID-19 vaccines, adding the bloc wants to make sure it gets its fair share of the drugs.

"If this situation does not change, we will have to reflect on how to make exports to vaccine-producing countries dependent on their level of openness. […] We are ready to use whatever tools we need to deliver on that", she told reporters.

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