On March 4, EU sources revealed to the media that the EU is planning to extend its new crown vaccine export control program until the end of June. Prior to this, the WHO has criticized the European Union's "vaccine nationalism" approach, believing that this may lead to an extension of the epidemic period.
Two EU sources told Reuters on March 4 that the EU is planning to extend the new crown vaccine export control plan to the end of June. The plan was proposed at the end of January this year and was originally scheduled to expire in March to respond to vaccine manufacturers. The act of delaying the delivery of the new crown vaccine to the EU. The EU called this a "temporary plan."
"The European Commission will propose to extend the program until June. Member states welcome this. Although it is not very warm welcome, we feel that this mechanism is indeed needed." A senior EU official said.
The second EU official added that at a meeting of EU diplomats on the 3rd, many countries supported the extension of vaccine export controls, including heavyweights Germany and France.
As of now, the EU has not commented on this news.
Recently, the European Union and the British pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca had a fierce dispute over insufficient vaccine supply. AstraZeneca said that in the first quarter of this year, it could only supply 31 million doses of vaccine to the EU instead of the previously agreed 80 million doses. This led the European Union to decide to impose export control measures on vaccines produced by AstraZeneca in its territory.
According to the EU’s export control plan, vaccine manufacturers must obtain EU authorization before exporting new crown vaccines. If they do not comply with the EU’s supply commitments, their export requests may be rejected. However, Reuters pointed out that since the implementation of the plan, the EU has approved all export applications. Another EU source said that since January 30, more than 8 million doses of vaccine have been shipped from the EU to the UK.
On January 30th, WHO Assistant Director-General Simao said that the EU’s practice of restricting vaccine exports is worrying. WHO Director-General Tan Desai also criticized earlier that this "vaccine nationalism" approach may slow the process of society returning to normal.