EU has exported over 1 billion COVID-19 vaccines, von der Leyen says


FILE PHOTO: A woman holds a small bottle labelled with a "Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine" sticker and a medical syringe in this illustration taken October 30, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -More than a billion COVID-19 vaccines produced in the European Union have been exported since December 2020, making the bloc the biggest exporter of the shots, European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen said on Monday.

The vaccines had gone to more than 150 countries, and the EU had exported as many doses as it had distributed to its own citizens, von der Leyen added in a statement.

The bloc started exporting vaccines at the start of the global roll out at a time when other major producers such as the United States were building up their own supplies and restricting exports.

Most EU exports have been directed to bigger economies, including Japan, Turkey and Britain, who had contracts with vaccine makers based in the bloc.

Sales and donations to poorer nations have so far made up a small proportion of total exports, but the bloc was planning to distribute at least 500 million shots to the most vulnerable countries in coming months, von der Leyen said.

Half of these doses would be supplied from a new contract that the EU wants to have with a producer of messenger RNA vaccines, officials said. The other half will be donations from EU states who have already bought vaccines.

The bloc has already signed supply contracts with mRNA vaccine makers Pfizer-BioNTech for a total of up to 2.4 billion doses until 2023 and with Moderna for up to 460 million doses.

The EU set up a vaccine export control mechanism in late January to monitor the outbound flow of shots from the continent.

Although the mechanism allows the EU to block exports in the event of insufficient domestic supplies, it has been activated only once to prevent the shipment of 250,000 AstraZeneca vaccines to Australia in March at the height of a dispute with the Anglo-Swedish firm about its supplies to the EU.

(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio @fraguarascio, editing by Marine Strauss, Ed Osmond and Andrew Heavens)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights
   

Next In World

Japan tightening border controls on three more African countries - Foreign Ministry
Czech Republic reports 20,315 daily coronavirus cases
Thailand bans entry from 8 African countries over COVID Omicron variant
France says it is willing to discuss autonomy for Guadeloupe
Blinken calls for speedy negotiations over Ethiopia military escalation
Philippines cuts target for ambitious three-day vaccination sprint
Australia starts 14-day quarantine for citizens travelling from southern Africa
Mexico asks the U.S. for conditions to resume return of asylum seekers
Mexico to ask Brazilians for visas beginning in December
U.N. 'concerned' Mexico hasn't complied with recommendations to prevent disappearances

Others Also Read


Vouchers