European Union leaders grapple with surge of infections, vaccine issues

Clay Curtis
March 26, 2021

She warned that the Anglo-Swedish firm would have to "catch up" before it is allowed to export doses outside of the bloc.

French President Emmanuel Macron spoke up in favor of export control mechanisms put in place by the European Commission.

Although statements like, "new activity restrictions coming as days and weeks ahead" were the gravest, "We were right not to confine in January" and "end the naivety", could placate the listeners. It could be quashed by European Union member states over the next fortnight but it won't be.

European Union leaders voiced frustration on Thursday (March 25) over a massive shortfall in contracted deliveries of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines, as a third wave of infections surged across Europe.

"I think it is clear that first of all the company has to catch up, has to honour the contract it has with the European member states, before it can engage again in exporting vaccines", she told a news conference after an EU summit dominated by the bloc's struggling vaccination rollout. "They are promising to be able to deliver 30 million doses, but they are not even close to this figure, as of today".

"Our track record speaks for itself".

Dumbrovskies He stressed that these changes are not meant to conflict with any particular country, but the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der LeyenHe said last week that Brussels She was considering halting the shipment of vaccines to the United Kingdom if she failed to get them London Same deal with AstraZeneca.

White House: North Korea conducted short-range missile test
The drills earlier this month unnerved Pyongyang even though they were scaled back this year to become computer-simulated drills. The Biden administration has tried unsuccessfully to restart talks with North Korea, after over a year without active dialogue.

Draft conclusions seen by AFP support the European Union export authorisation scheme while urging Europe to step up vaccine production.

Some leaders stressed that an embargo should be a last resort if negotiations for a better way of sharing vaccine production come up short, but von der Leyen adopted an uncompromising tone. "We want to explain to our European citizens that they [can] get their fair share".

"One has to distinguish between the strong, positive, data from the USA trial on the one hand, and the incredible ability of AstraZeneca's press-release messaging to continually rescue defeat from the jaws of victory", said Danny Altmann, a professor of immunology at Imperial College London.

Brussels accused the company of failing to honor its contract obligations, a claim, which AstraZeneca has denied.

A group of smaller states led by Austria demanded more vaccines after they missed an earlier opportunity to secure a bigger share of costlier versions by betting on the cheaper - but unreliably supplied - AstraZeneca one. Several European countries that had suspended using the vaccine over concerns it could cause blood clots have resumed administering it after the EU's drug regulator said the vaccine was safe.

The statement, apparently meant to cut tension Between the two parties, coming on the same day that European Union Advertise control modification on Export of vaccines It is produced in its territory, which will not be sent to third countries unless it also delivered part of its medicines. That, combined with the lack of vaccines available in Europe, has pushed several European Union nations to impose strict lockdown measures over the Easter holidays.

The US President Joe Biden will address the meeting this evening to discuss strengthening EU/US cooperation.

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