UK entry to Pfizer jab threatened as EU imposes new controls on COVID vaccine exports

Senior doctors call on England's chief medical officer to halve the gap between the first and second doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

The European Union has threatened to impose strict controls on the exporting of coronavirus vaccines made within the bloc.

The transfer might affect the UK’s provide of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is made in Belgium.

It comes amid rising European anger in direction of pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, which is accused of failing to ship the promised variety of doses of the vaccine it developed with Oxford College.

European well being commissioner Stella Kyriakides warned that the EU “will take any motion required to guard its residents and rights”, including that an “export transparency mechanism” can be put in “as quickly as attainable”.

“Sooner or later, all firms producing vaccines in opposition to COVID-19 within the EU should present early notification at any time when they need to export vaccines to 3rd nations,” she stated.

A vial and sryinge are seen in front of a displayed AstraZeneca logo in this illustration taken January 11, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
An AstraZeneca spokesman stated the corporate was doing every part it might

The UK authorities stated it remained assured that provide of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is basically made in Oxfordshire and Staffordshire, would permit it to satisfy its goal of vaccinating probably the most weak by the center of February.

A authorities spokeswoman stated: “We stay in shut contact with all of our vaccine suppliers. Our vaccine provide and scheduled deliveries will absolutely help providing the primary dose to all 4 precedence teams by 15 February.”

Earlier on Monday, Ms Kyriakides had criticised AstraZeneca’s decision to slow supplies of its vaccine as “unacceptable”.

The pharmaceutical firm, announced on Friday it couldn’t meet agreed provide targets and, based on stories, that meant a lower of 60% to 31 million doses – simply weeks after Pfizer additionally introduced provide delays.

AstraZeneca is believed to have obtained an upfront fee of £298m when the 27-nation bloc sealed a provide cope with the corporate in August for a minimum of 300 million doses.

Underneath advance buy offers sealed through the pandemic, the EU makes down-payments to firms to safe doses, with the cash anticipated to be largely used to develop manufacturing capability.

The vaccine is anticipated to be permitted to be used within the EU on 29 January, with first deliveries anticipated from 15 February.

Moira Edwards receives the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine at the centre in Epsom
The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine is already being rolled out throughout the UK

An AstraZeneca spokesman stated the corporate was doing every part it might to deliver its coronavirus vaccine to hundreds of thousands of Europeans as quickly as attainable.

In the meantime, it has been revealed the corporate, which has its headquarters within the UK, faces wider provide issues, with Australia and Thailand affected.

The UK is especially reliant on the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab and it has been key to the nation’s vaccine rollout thus far, however Well being Secretary Matt Hancock has warned that supply across the board is “tight”.

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