The government of Great Britain warned the EU against “nationalism” in the issue of vaccines after the statements of the European Commission about the possible control of the export of doses produced in the EU.
According to Bloomberg, Nadim Zahavi, the U.K. government commissioner for vaccines, said.
“I have confidence that we will get our supplies on schedule. Nationalism on the issue of vaccines is the wrong way to go,” he said on LBC Radio.
The day before, the European Commission said it would initiate controls on the export of vaccine doses produced in the EU after AstraZeneca said it could deliver significantly fewer doses in the first quarter of the year than envisaged by the contract.
In comments to the media, representatives of the European Commission explained that it was primarily a tool for transparency, so that the EU would understand that vaccines produced are sent to third countries and in what quantities.
“We do not deny that everyone needs vaccines. But it is also very clear that the EU has invested in these particular companies precisely to guarantee that it can get the doses it needs as soon as possible after the vaccine has received conditional approval for use … And if we see that the companies are supplying vaccines (to someone else) — we have every right to ask why we can’t get the quantity we ordered,” commented European Commission presidential spokesman Eric Mamer at a January 26 briefing.
Note that AstraZeneca has not yet received conditional approval for use in the EU — the decision of the European Medical Agency is expected in late January.
At the same time, the vaccine is already in use in Great Britain.
The United Kingdom is currently the leader among European countries in terms of vaccination rates. More than 6.6 million people — about 10% of the population — have already been vaccinated. By mid-February, the government wants to vaccinate the most vulnerable groups, up to 15 million people.