Von der Leyen proposes tightening of EU coronavirus vaccine exports

Von der Leyen proposes tightening of EU coronavirus vaccine exports
Credit: Belga

The EU should regulate the exports of coronavirus doses based on reciprocal exports from vaccine-producing countries and vaccination-levels, according to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

She said during a press conference on Wednesday that the number of exports being made to these countries should depend on what is being shipped to the continent. in return.

"We are in the crisis of the century. If this situation does not change, we will have to reflect on how to make exports to vaccine-producing countries, dependent on their level of openness,” Von der Leyen said, urging countries to make sure the number of exports also come back to the EU.

She also urged the member states, of which the leaders will meet during a summit on 25 and 26 March, to consider the fact that "exports to countries with higher vaccination rates than ours should always be proportionate", referring to countries such as the UK, where nearly 25 million people have received at least one dose.

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This system would be linked to the existing vaccine export licensing mechanism which came into force on 1 February, and under which the Commission and the Italian authorities stopped the export of a shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines to Australia earlier this month.

Under this mechanism, it was the only export that was refused, whilst another 314 exporting licenses have already been granted, von der Leyen said.

The Commission recently extended this mechanism for vaccine exports until the end of June, following persistent delays in some of the deliveries of vaccines to the EU.

During her talk, von der Leyen emphasised that the EU was ready to use all the necessary tools to optimise the successful rollout of the vaccine across the continent.

Lauren Walker

The Brussels Times

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