A shipment of AstraZeneca doses heading to Australia has been blocked by Italy under an EU vaccine monitoring scheme.
The European Commission accepted the blocking of the 250,000 doses and criticised the British-Swedish company for supplying only a fraction of what it promised.
The Italian Foreign Ministry stated that the shipment was stopped because of a continuing shortage of vaccines in the EU and in Italy and delays in supplies from AstraZeneca.
The fact that Australia is not a vulnerable country in the sense of the pandemic is also the reason for the shipment being blocked.
The ministry added that exports had been authorised in the past of the AstraZeneca vaccine samples but only in small quantities.
AstraZeneca made promises to the EU in providing a substantial quantity of doses to begin the roll-out. Promising 100 million doses in the first three months of the year but is only on track to supplying just 40% of that.