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EU continues to export vaccines, no new refusals

© Nicolas Maeterlinck/Belga

Although the mechanism for monitoring and authorising exports of vaccines from the EU was strengthened at the end of March, such exports have continued in recent days.

From the date the mechanism was put into force (30 January) until 7 April, there were 531 authorised requests by Member States for a total of 80.1 million doses to be exported from EU territory over that period, according to figures that the European Commission released on Friday.

Despite the tightening of measures around allowing vaccines to be exported to other countries, there was only one refusal – that of Italy concerning a batch of 250,000 doses of a coronavirus vaccine that AstraZeneca wanted to send to Australia.

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On 24 March, the EU executive adopted adjustments to the European “transparency and authorisation” mechanism for exports of vaccines and vaccine active substances from the EU.

The mechanism had been set up in a hurry in order to have a global view of the actions of pharmaceutical companies under contract with the EU, to check whether they were unfairly favouring external customers.

The Commission reported that 380 export applications had already been accepted on 24 March, concerning 33 different destinations for a total of around 43 million doses.

Since then, no new refusals have been added to the only one registered so far, even under the new criteria.

As of 7 April, the total number of applications accepted by Member States reached 531, for the export of about 80.1 million doses to 42 countries, the Commission said.

The Brussels Times

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