British Prime Minister Johnson rejected the European Union’s accusation that Britain “kept the vaccines to itself by making vaccine nationalism”. Now, the question of how much vaccine has England exported has come to the fore.
In an interview with the Politico news site, European Union (EU) Council President Charles Michel argued that the vaccines produced within the EU were exported to many countries of the world, but the UK kept most of the vaccines produced by it:
“They say they have not made an expulsion decision in the UK. As a politician, I know very well that there are many different methods of applying bans or restrictions. The real question is: how many doses have they exported so far? This is a very simple question and we haven’t got the answer since yesterday. ”
“We did not ban export”
In an article he wrote the previous day, Michel denied the accusation of vaccine nationalism made for the EU and said, “Britain and the USA imposed a strict ban on the export of vaccines and vaccine components produced on their own soil. However, the European Union, which has the highest vaccine production capacity in the world, is produced in the union. “It brought a system to control the export of doses.”
“We did not ban the export of a single COVID-19 vaccine and vaccine component,” Boris Johnson denied the accusation of vaccine nationalism against Britain.
The fight is not new
The vaccine fight between the EU and the UK started when the British-Swedish pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca announced that it would not be able to send the doses it had promised to the EU earlier this year.
AstraZeneca had announced that it would supply the EU with 40 million doses in the first quarter and 90 million in the second quarter. However, these amounts are said to be less than half of the amount in the contract.
EU initiated “export control mechanism”
The EU administration, although not directly, stated that AstraZeneca sent the vaccine or vaccine components produced in its facilities in EU countries to the UK instead of EU countries and initiated an “export control mechanism”.
With this mechanism, it was aimed to transparently know where and how many vaccines the vaccine manufacturers in the EU send. Within the framework of the mechanism, the export of AstraZeneca vaccines to be sent from Italy to Australia last week for the first time was prevented.
“Slow” criticism for EU administration
EU officials are criticized for slow progress in vaccinations across the union. While approximately one-third of the population in the USA and UK and half of the population in Israel are vaccinated, this rate is only 6.5 percent in the EU, increasing the reaction to the EU administration.
However, it is said that the slow progress of vaccination is due to the slow behavior of the EU countries and the waiting of the current doses of AstraZeneca vaccines due to suspicion against them.
Have a goal of vaccinating 70 percent of adults by the end of the summer
The EU administration wants to increase the supply of vaccines to meet the goal of vaccinating 70 percent of the adult population by the end of the summer. However, since the vaccines were introduced at the end of the year, the EU administration seems far from the target.