EU and Italy Block Export of AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccine to Australia
Italy has blocked the export of the Covid-19 vaccine created by AstraZeneca to Australia in coordination with the European Union. The move reflects growing frustration in Europe over vaccine shortages and slow deliveries. Australia is now considered a nonvulnerable country in terms of the Covid-19 pandemic and therefore the EU decided that vaccines should stay within Europe, where countries are still struggling with significant outbreaks.
The decision affected over 250,000 doses, bottled at a factory near Rome. AstraZeneca has allegedly delivered roughly 1.5 million doses to Italy. AstraZeneca representatives have declined to comment on Italy’s decision. The move is the first use of a new EU policy that allows controls to be imposed on the import and export of vaccines. The EU is still struggling to stay up to par with public expectations of a large-scale vaccine rollout that was promised earlier this year.