The export of the scarce corona vaccines from the European Union should be more strictly controlled and, if necessary, stopped more frequently. The EU Commission decided on Wednesday. To this end, the export controls introduced at the beginning of February were expanded. New criteria should make it possible to withhold vaccines if proportionality and reciprocity are not maintained. There should be no general export bans. Exports to developing countries should not be hindered.
The EU remains open to exports, stressed Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. But the EU countries were in the third wave of pandemics, and not all manufacturing companies were delivering to the EU in accordance with their contract. “We have to ensure fast and sufficient deliveries to EU citizens. Every day counts.”
“It is not our intention to block things,” EU officials said. The expanded EU mechanism now includes a “justice approach”. In the Commission’s view, the principle of reciprocity means that the recipient country also allows exports of vaccines or components. Proportionality aims at the question of whether the recipient country already has a better pandemic situation and a higher vaccination rate.
According to these criteria, the UK in particular could be the focus of controls. According to the EU Commission, no vaccination doses come from the country into the EU, and the vaccination rate there is higher than in EU countries. But Britain is hoping for supplies of the Astra Zeneca vaccine from a plant in the Netherlands.
Since February 1st, vaccine exports from EU countries to many countries have to be registered and approved. However, 17 partner countries were excluded from this coverage, including Israel and Switzerland – these exceptions have now been deleted. Only deliveries to 92 poorer countries via the Covax mechanism of the World Health Organization should be excluded.
According to the commission, 380 applications for deliveries of around 43 million doses of corona vaccine to 33 countries have so far been approved. Only one application was denied – Italy stopped exporting 250,000 doses of Astra Zeneca vaccine to Australia. The main recipient country was Great Britain, there alone 10.9 million cans went. Then came Canada (6.6 million), Japan (5.4 million) and Mexico (4.4 million).
29 million doses of Astra-Zeneca vaccine are stored unused in Italy
Vaccine manufacturer Astra Zeneca stores 29 million doses of corona vaccine in Italy for export to the UK. A corresponding report in the Italian newspaper The print was confirmed to the German Press Agency on Wednesday in Brussels. The discovery is explosive because Astra Zeneca is very far behind in deliveries to the European Union. Instead of up to 220 million cans, the company wants to deliver only 100 million to the EU states by the middle of the year.
The print had reported that the warehouse with the 29 million vaccine doses had been discovered in the Italian bottling company Catalent in Anagni. According to dpa information, the vaccine was manufactured in the Dutch factory Halix in Leiden and then bottled in Italy.
Kurz warns of “divide within the European Union” in vaccine distribution
Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz continues to insist on a change in vaccine distribution in Europe. He will bring the issue up in consultations with his EU colleagues on Thursday if there is no solution by then, said the conservative head of government world. Germany is against the redistribution of vaccines in the European Union called for by Austria and other countries, as European State Secretary Michael Roth (SPD) had previously made clear on Tuesday.
The cans were not delivered to all EU countries at the same time as agreed and according to the proportion of the population, but according to the order quantity, argued Kurz. “But we cannot have any interest in the fact that the gap within the European Union in terms of vaccination coverage for the population continues to widen and that we thus create second-class EU member states,” he said world.
Roth had pointed out that Austria and some other countries had not exhausted the vaccine contingents they were entitled to based on their population size. These quantities were offered to other EU countries. There is no reason to change the distribution procedure. Bulgaria, Croatia, Latvia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic also joined Austria’s complaint.
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Britain plans to vaccinate children from August
The UK plans to start vaccinating children as early as August. This emerges from the government’s preliminary plans, the newspaper writes The Telegraph. That would be months earlier than expected, it is said, citing two people involved in the plans. According to the report, the basis is the results of a study by Oxford University in collaboration with Astra Zeneca with 300 test subjects aged six to 17 years, which should be available in June or July.
Mallorca closes the interiors of restaurants
While Germany is discussing why it is now easier to take a vacation in Mallorca, but German hotels must remain closed to tourists, the island is tightening its corona measures due to the increasing number of cases. A report from Mallorca Newspaper According to the regional government wants to close the recently reopened interiors of cafes, restaurants and pubs. The measure should be implemented this week.
The number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants within seven days in the Balearic Islands, to which Mallorca belongs, rose to 26.45 on Monday evening, according to the Ministry of Health in Madrid. Last week the seven-day incidence was below 20. Compared to Germany, this is still a relatively low value.
According to the authorities, almost 8,000 foreigners were checked at the island’s airport over the weekend, most of them were holidaymakers from Germany. A negative PCR test no older than 72 hours must be presented upon entry. A total of 121 travelers who had inconsistencies with their entry form were subjected to a second test. None of them were positive, wrote the newspaper. According to the new Corona resolutions of the federal states and the federal government, airlines must test holidaymakers returning home from Mallorca before departure.
US agency reports concerns about Astra-Zeneca study data
Astra Zeneca threatens new hardship in connection with its Covid-19 vaccine. After the pharmaceutical company has just published positive efficacy data from its large US study with the vaccine, a US agency expressed concerns about it. The National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), led by US disease expert Anthony Fauci, says the summary of the efficacy information may not be complete. This was pointed out by an independent committee to monitor the study. The company must now work with the panel and review the data.
According to NIAID, the Board of Directors has raised concerns that Astra Zeneca may have included out of date information from the study, which may have provided an incomplete view of the efficacy data. It must be ensured that the most precise and up-to-date data set on effectiveness is obtained as quickly as possible. No comments were initially available from Astra Zeneca. According to the study results published on Monday, the vaccine, with 79 percent protection against Covid-19, is more effective than previously determined and does not lead to an increased risk of thrombosis.
The concerns of the NIAID now call into question whether the pharmaceutical company can apply for emergency approval for the vaccine in the USA as planned in the coming weeks. In Germany and other European countries, vaccinations with Astra Zeneca were temporarily stopped last week after reports of cases of very rare blood clots. In the meantime, however, they have been resumed. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) spoke out in favor of sticking to the vaccine.
Denmark wants to loosen up further after Easter
Denmark wants to further relax the corona restrictions after Easter. The government announced that hairdressers, wellness facilities and other service providers should be able to reopen from April 6th. According to the plan agreed with parliament, more students should go to school again from next month. Many of the planned relaxations are tied to a so-called corona passport, which shows whether the owner has been vaccinated, has overcome an infection or has tested negative within 72 hours.