European Commission president Ursula Von der Leyen has said AstraZeneca could face export bans to countries outside the European Union if the company does not speed up its delivery of vaccines.
“We have the possibility to ban planned exports. That’s the message to AstraZeneca: you fulfill your contract with Europe first, before you start delivering to other countries,” Von der Leyen said.
Von der Leyen added the contract between the EU and AstraZeneca clearly stipulates how many vaccines the EU is set to receive from AstraZeneca’s factories inside the EU and in the UK.
“We didn’t get anything from the British, while we are delivering vaccines to them”. She said the commission had sent a “formal reminder” to AstraZeneca on this issue.
“I can’t explain to European citizens why we are exporting millions of vaccine doses to countries that are producing vaccines themselves and aren’t sending us anything back,” she said.