BRUSSELS – The European Union is finalizing emergency legislation that will give it broad rights to curb exports for the next six weeks of the Kovid-19 vaccines manufactured in the block, a sharp increase in its response to a supply of house shortages A political malastrom has created amidst a growing Third wave On the continent
The draft law, which is to be made public on Wednesday, was reviewed by The New York Times and ratified by two EU officials. The new regulations will make it harder for pharmaceutical companies producing Kovid-19 vaccines in the EU to export them and supply to the UK is likely to be disrupted.
The European Union has been mainly in loggerheads with AstraZeneca since it cut its supply drastically in January citing production problems, and the company is the main target of the new regulations. But legislation, which could prevent the export of millions of doses from EU ports, could also affect Pfizer and Modern vaccines.
Britain is by far the biggest beneficiary of EU exports and will stand to lose the most from these regulations, but they can also be applied to curb exports to other countries such as Canada, for example, the European Union Is the second largest recipient of vaccines manufactured by, as well as Israel, which dosages from the block, but is Very advanced in their vaccination campaign And therefore seen as less needy.
“We are in a crisis of the century. And I’m not fixing anything for now, because we have to make sure that Europeans are vaccinated as soon as possible, “European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in comments last week that the passage for the new Rules laid down “Human life, civil liberties and the prosperity of our economy also depend on that, at the pace of vaccination, moving forward.”
The legislation is unlikely to affect the United States, which has so far received less than one million doses from European Union-based facilities.
The Biden administration has said that it has received sufficient doses from its three authorized manufacturers – Pfizer-BioNotech, Modern and Johnson & Johnson – to cover all adults in the country by the end of May. Huge amounts of that supply are coming from plants in the United States. The country also exports vaccine components to the European Union, which is reluctant to risk any disruption to the raw material supply chain.
European Union authorizes pharmaceutical companies to fulfill their contracts To export more than 40 million vaccine doses Between February and mid-March with 33 countries, 10 million Britain and 4.3 million Canada. The bloc has housed around 70 million and distributed them to its 27 member states, but efforts to mount mass vaccination campaigns have been set back in many wrong ways.
Exporting liberally has been an important part of the problem when supplies are thin at home, and the bloc has been criticized for allowing exports in the first place, when the United States and Britain contracted domestic production for domestic use Closed. pharmaceutical companies.
The result has been a troubling vaccine rollout for the world’s richest countries. The impact of the failures is being intensified by a third wave sending healthcare systems across the continent into emergency mode and entering painful new lockdowns.
The European Commission, which has vaccinated the member states responsible for its national campaigns, and ordered individual governments to grow tired of lockdown by voters and escalating Kovid-19 caseloads has come under severe criticism for their failures. Public anger and its political costs have increased as the block has fallen behind many wealthy world peers in pursuing vaccination campaigns, despite being home to major manufacturers.
The block has seen recipients of vaccines produced in its member countries and other affluent countries, Race ahead with their vaccination campaigns. According to the latest information, about 60 percent of Israelis have received at least one vaccine dose, 40 percent of Britons and a quarter of Americans, but only 10 percent of EU citizens have been vaccinated. Our world in data.
Exports are being curbed by the authorities through the executive branch of the European Commission, and changes to new regulations may still occur before the law is finalized, with officials saying it was unlikely that they would be concrete. These are expected to be implemented rapidly.
EU officials said the rules would allow a degree of discretion, meaning they would not ban exports, and officials still expected many exports to continue.
“The proposed measures are related,” said Yumi Han, spokeswoman for Canadian International Trade Minister Mary Ng.
Ms Han said, “Minister Ng’s counterparts have repeatedly assured him that these measures will not affect vaccine shipments to Canada.” “We will continue to work with the European Union and its member states, as we have done during the epidemic, to ensure that our essential health and medical supply chains are open and flexible,” he said.
Canada relies on the European Union to supply almost the entire vaccine: all of Canada’s modern and Pfizer vaccines have come from Europe, although the country received a small shipment of the AstraZeneca vaccine from India.
The new rules come after months of tensions between the European Union and AstraZeneca, in a situation that has become toxic for the block’s fragile relationship with the recently departed member, Britain.
Trouble started End of january, When AstraZeneca said it would cut vaccine rollout plans by more than half in the first quarter of 2021. In response to this, the European Union initiated an export-authorization process, which required pharmaceutical companies to allow the export of vaccines, and to give the EU powers to block them if they were subject to the company’s contractual obligations Used to be seen as a counter.
From 1 February, the European Union Blocked only one Out of more than 300 exports, a small shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines to Australia on the grounds that the country was virtually covariance-free, while the bloc struggled with growing infection.
The new rules will introduce more grounds for blocking exports, draft documents show. They will encourage shipments to countries that do not export vaccines to the EU – a clause explicitly targeting the UK – or to countries that have “higher vaccination rates” than the EU or where present The epidemiological situation is less serious “than”. According to a word seen by The Times, in the block.
In recent times, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has called for a strike in a melodious tone to remove the EU’s export ban that would be a major setback to his country’s rapidly growing vaccination campaign.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Mr. Johnson said he was opposed to the blocker, and was “encouraged by some of the things he heard about the continent.” British news media reported that his government would be ready to deliver four million AstraZeneca supplements produced at a factory in the European Union.
Benjamin muller Contributed to reporting from London, Sharon Lafranier From Washington and Ian Austen From Ottawa.