As Vaccine Battle With UK Deepens, EU Blames AstraZeneca
Spain on Monday demanded that the European Union allow the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines it has ordered as tensions over a possible ban on EU-manufactured shots mounted, but Brussels said drugmaker AstraZeneca was to blame.
“The UK is not to blame. The EU is not to blame,” said an EU official. “It’s about everyone finding agreement with a company that has been over-selling its production capacity. AstraZeneca has to deliver doses to its EU customers.”
After falling far behind post-Brexit Britain and the United States in rolling out vaccines, the EU’s leaders are due to discuss imposing a ban on vaccine exports to Britain at a summit on Thursday.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to speak to the EU’s most powerful leaders, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, in a bid to get the bloc to steer away from bans.
“There will continue to be some robust conversations with the European Union about the importance of no such blockings happening,” Helen Whately, a junior health minister, told LBC radio. “It’s really important that companies are able to fulfil their contractual obligations.”
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