EU to require advance registration of COVID-19 vaccine exports

FILE PHOTO: European Council President Charles Michel chairs a video conference of the members of the European Council on COVID-19 in Brussels, Belgium January 21, 2021. Olivier Hoslet/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union will require pharmaceutical companies producing COVID-19 vaccines inside the bloc to register in advance any exports of doses to third countries, an EU official said on Monday.

The move comes after AstraZeneca on Friday unexpectedly announced a large cut in supplies of vaccines to the bloc for the first quarter of the year.

The executive European Commission would create a transparency register for vaccine exports outside the bloc, the official told Reuters, adding that the new rule was due to enter into force in the coming days.

"Export licences for humanitarian purposes will be regularly issued," the official said.

(Reporting by Sabine Siebold; Editing by John Chalmers)

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