Italy blocks export of AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine to Australia

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Italy on Thursday blocked a cargo of an AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine that was destined for Australia, marking the primary EU intervention because the bloc adopted rules to regulate vaccine exports exterior the EU. 

The newly put in authorities of Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi didn’t grant the British-Swedish drug producer permission to ship round 250,000 doses from its Anagni plant to Australia, Reuters reported, citing two sources. 

The move, that was backed by the European Commission because the Financial Times reported, was primarily based on a call taken by the bloc on January 30, when the EU adopted measures to impose non permanent controls on vaccine exports following a spat with the British-Swedish pharmaceutical, accusing the corporate of failing to satisfy its supply commitments. 

The export controls mechanism is ready to final till the tip of March, giving energy to member-states to reject exports to international locations exterior the EU, in a bid to deal with vaccine provides shortages. 

Brussels has come underneath hearth for what critics describe as a sluggish rollout of the Coronavirus vaccines, with the EU blaming it on provide points with the drug producers.