EU: Expert slams Ursula von der Leyen on vaccine rollout
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Downing Street has warned Brussels to “abide by its commitments” to send jabs manufactured on the continent to the rest of the world as it warned export bans risked “endangering” the recovery from the pandemic. Yesterday Italy announced it had blocked the shipment of 250,000 AstraZeneca jabs to Australia.
The decision was made after the approval of the European Commission.
Commission President Ursula von der Leyan had previously told Mr Johnson the EU had no intention to stop the exports of any vaccines.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said this afternoon: “We would expect the EU to continue to abide by its commitments.
“The global recovery from coronavirus relies on international collaboration.
“We are all dependant on global supply chains, putting in place restrictions endangers global efforts to fight the virus.”
Italy’s decision to block exports of the Oxford vaccine came just hours after Mr Johnson spoke to Italian prime minister Mario Draghi on the phone about the importance of the vaccine being rolled out across the globe.
A No10 spokesman said: “The leaders discussed the important role the G7 and G20 will play in helping the international community build back better from the coronavirus pandemic.
“They agreed on the importance of a coordinated agenda between the two summits to learn lessons from the pandemic, roll out the coronavirus vaccine around the world and prepare for future pandemics.”
France’s health minister Olivier Veran today warned it too could follow Italy and ban exports.
More to follow…
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