Contracts could be weapons in a vaccine battle

Astra Zeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said in a press interview on Wednesday that the vaccine produced in the UK could not be delivered to the European Union until the British had their vaccine.

Although he is not liked by the European Commission. The contract did not state that some factories would only serve certain countries, or in a specific order, the Commission angrily claims.

The result – as the Irish Times calls it – “a tabloid maker’s dream”.

“The European Union itself wants our vaccines,” the British newspaper Daily Express shouted on its front page.

“No, you don’t get our syringes,” the Daily Mail wrote.

Is Biontech discontinued?

Influential German parliamentarian Peter Lyse blocks the other side by warning him of trade wars in an interview with Euronews.

The European Union could be opposed to stopping delivery of other vaccines in the other direction, says Lis, who belongs to the German ruling party CDU.

For five weeks, the Biontech vaccine, which is only produced in the European Union and developed with the help of the German state and EU funds, was shipped to the United Kingdom. The only result, says Lizzie, will be to halt exports immediately and then we’ll be in the middle of a trade war.

“Non-boycott”

The British government maintains that it wants first and foremost to ensure that its vaccine program is properly managed.

The deliveries that we planned and paid for will continue. Deputy Prime Minister Michael Gove told the BBC that there would be no interruption at all.

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It still leaves the door open for potential deliveries across the English Channel.

“The right thing to do with our friends in Europe is to make sure that we can foster a cooperative dialogue and see how we can do everything we can to help,” Goff told Reuters.

Work together!

The World Health Organization (WHO) is calling for calm in the storm.

The authorities and manufacturers should work together to tackle “childhood diseases”, Hans Kluge, head of the World Health Organization in Europe, told Reuters.

We have no doubt that manufacturers and producers are working 24 hours a day, seven days a week to fill the gaps and we are convinced that the delay that we see now will be met through increased production in the future, says Kluge.

Factory inspection

Behind the entire dispute, Astra Zeneca announced last week that vaccine shipments this spring in the European Union will be much lower than planned due to “production problems” at a factory in Europe.

The Belgian government said, according to RTBF TV, that the Belgian authorities will now inspect the company’s factory in Sinif “to ensure that the delivery delay is indeed due to a production problem.”

The company has firmly rejected claims that it has sent vaccines that will go to the European Union elsewhere.

Meanwhile, British authorities reported as early as the beginning of December that nearly four million doses of Astra Zeneca vaccine expected for the UK in 2020 will come from factories in Germany and the Netherlands.

Does the contract appear?

The European Commission has urged Astra Zeneca to publish its contract with the European Union in order to “get the debate out”. According to German newspaper FAZ, the company is now also ready to do so, at least in part.

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According to FAZ, on Friday the company will propose to the European Commission which parts of the contract it wants to keep confidential, according to Reuters.

So far, only one vaccine manufacturer, Germany’s Curevac, has agreed to publish its contract with the European Union – and thereafter with only large portions written off, for reasons of competition.

Victor Nomlin / TT

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