EU warns Pfizer over sending Covid vaccine doses to Britain

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Napp
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To be honest, the only shocking thing here is that anyone in Britain can be surprised by this.. It being hard to fault Brussels on this one. Well, aside from being slow off the start in coordinating for a vaccine but hey ho. One imagines Pfizer is going to get a fair bit of flack for it's continued delays though.

The European Union has threatened to impose strict controls on the exporting of coronavirus vaccines made in the bloc.

The move could impact the UK's supply of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is made in Belgium.

It comes amid growing European anger towards pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, which is accused of failing to deliver the promised number of doses of the vaccine it developed with Oxford University.

European health commissioner Stella Kyriakides warned that the EU "will take any action required to protect its citizens and rights", adding that an "export transparency mechanism" will be installed "as soon as possible".

"In the future, all companies producing vaccines against COVID-19 in the EU will have to provide early notification whenever they want to export vaccines to third countries," she said.

The UK government said it remained confident that supply of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is largely made in Oxfordshire and Staffordshire, would allow it to meet its target of vaccinating the most vulnerable by the middle of February.

A government spokeswoman said: "We remain in close contact with all of our vaccine suppliers. Our vaccine supply and scheduled deliveries will fully support offering the first dose to all four priority groups by 15 February."



Earlier on Monday, Ms Kyriakides had criticised AstraZeneca's decision to slow supplies of its vaccine as "unacceptable".

The pharmaceutical company, announced on Friday it could not meet agreed supply targets and, according to reports, that meant a cut of 60% to 31 million doses - just weeks after Pfizer also announced supply delays.

AstraZeneca is believed to have received an upfront payment of £298m when the 27-nation bloc sealed a supply deal with the company in August for at least 300 million doses.

Under advance purchase deals sealed during the pandemic, the EU makes down-payments to companies to secure doses, with the money expected to be mostly used to expand production capacity.

The vaccine is expected to be approved for use in the EU on 29 January, with first deliveries expected from 15 February.

An AstraZeneca spokesman said the company was doing everything it could to bring its coronavirus vaccine to millions of Europeans as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, it has been revealed the company, which has its headquarters in the UK, faces wider supply problems, with Australia and Thailand affected.

The UK is particularly reliant on the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab and it has been key to the country's vaccine rollout so far, but Health Secretary Matt Hancock has warned that supply across the board is "tight".


https://news.sky.com/story/uk-access...ports-12198979
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StriderHort
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Yea, it was only a matter of time before bodies started getting grabby

Good thing we're in the E-...oh.
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Rakas21
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Amusing. So they are basically complaining that the UK had the foresight to make sure half its production would be in the UK (presumably if the EU stopped the exports we'd do the same with the bit made here which would be fun).

Rather suspect they know they spent too long arguing about price and not about timescales and are now playing politics to **** the blame.
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Ambitious1999
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(Original post by Napp)
To be honest, the only shocking thing here is that anyone in Britain can be surprised by this.. It being hard to fault Brussels on this one. Well, aside from being slow off the start in coordinating for a vaccine but hey ho. One imagines Pfizer is going to get a fair bit of flack for it's continued delays though.

https://news.sky.com/story/uk-access...ports-12198979
Tbh I’m more concerned about the burning ear pandemic that oddly only seems to affect Brexiteers.

In 2016 the majority of people voted to leave the EU and to be worse off. It’s your Brexit to own and enjoy all its problems and there will be many. You won get over it!
Last edited by Ambitious1999; 4 weeks ago
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mnot
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(Original post by Napp)
To be honest, the only shocking thing here is that anyone in Britain can be surprised by this.. It being hard to fault Brussels on this one. Well, aside from being slow off the start in coordinating for a vaccine but hey ho. One imagines Pfizer is going to get a fair bit of flack for it's continued delays though.

https://news.sky.com/story/uk-access...ports-12198979
The EU roll out has been appalling, frankly the speed will cost lives. But to threaten UK lives is not diplomacy and frankly does nothing but build animosity between us all, this is the type of move Trump would have enacted (someone many people in Brussels despise so the hypocrisy is notable). Covid lockdowns will one day be behind us and any action they take will be remembered.

Frankly if I was other EU nations I would have given nation state approval for the Astrazeneca vaccine long ago as they are allowed to do (even if Brussels doesn't like it). The EU insisted that its member states come work together on the rollout but the EU and EMA have been far too slow and now they are getting embarrassed the UK has been pragmatic and agile with the vaccination. The reality is the first month was always going to be the slowest if they had any sense they would ask for the rollout data and see the optimal way to run vaccination centres, information we are learning.

Should they look to halt exports of Pfizer vaccine to the UK we have an astrazeneca production facility in the UK and the Moderna vaccine should come on line March/April time. We will get through this with or without the EU acting like a petulant child.
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mnot
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(Original post by Ambitious1999)
Tbh I’m more concerned about the burning ear pandemic that oddly only seems to affect Brexiteers.

In 2016 the majority of people voted to leave the EU and to be worse off. It’s your Brexit to own and enjoy all its problems and there will be many. You won get over it!
I voted remain, but after the referendum always thought it was important to honour the result.

If the EU intends on pursuing this type of action it makes me more glad not to be a part of the block despite voting remain. The idea that every time their is a crisis member states will be threatened into compliance, threaten their neighbours and they wish to wade through layers of bureaucracy before a consensus if found is appalling.
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Rakas21
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(Original post by mnot)
The EU roll out has been appalling, frankly the speed will cost lives. But to threaten UK lives is not diplomacy and frankly does nothing but build animosity between us all, this is the type of move Trump would have enacted (someone many people in Brussels despise so the hypocrisy is notable). Covid lockdowns will one day be behind us and any action they take will be remembered.

Frankly if I was other EU nations I would have given nation state approval for the Astrazeneca vaccine long ago as they are allowed to do (even if Brussels doesn't like it). The EU insisted that its member states come work together on the rollout but the EU and EMA have been far too slow and now they are getting embarrassed the UK has been pragmatic and agile with the vaccination. The reality is the first month was always going to be the slowest if they had any sense they would ask for the rollout data and see the optimal way to run vaccination centres, information we are learning.

Should they look to halt exports of Pfizer vaccine to the UK we have an astrazeneca production facility in the UK and the Moderna vaccine should come on line March/April time. We will get through this with or without the EU acting like a petulant child.
Worth saying that the article content does mention that this is a future change so I don't think there's any threat to us beyond the threat of a headline being sensationalist.

Never thought you were a remainder. Any particular reason.
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mnot
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Worth saying that the article content does mention that this is a future change so I don't think there's any threat to us beyond the threat of a headline being sensationalist.

Never thought you were a remainder. Any particular reason.
Having grown up in the EU I didnt feel the need to be out of the EU and felt remain was the safer option. I would have been fine with a softer brexit but I did always feel it was important the result was respected. I no longer feel like a remainer, I feel as though the "hardcore" remainers push to overturn & undermine the result was something I didnt believe in and hence despite being a remainer but believing the result should be respected the libdem & metropolitan labour squad have thrown people like me into Brexitiers and completely ignored this view point, something which is very frustrating.

Following the referendum I became sick to death of hearing Verhoftwat blame the UK for anything & everything and his campaign for an EU army and deeper political integration of member states. When you add in what happened with Cameron when he wished to renegotiate terms and when he vetoed the bill about the Euro in 2011 they treated us as a member state like **** and essentially ignored the UK. So whilst I did want to remain, leaving hasn't bothered me.
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Final Fantasy
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Lol they are acting like children honestly... "you can't have it" ... "well then you can't have it either!" SCHOOL FIIIGHHTT!! This is stupid.
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rockrunride
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Petulant. Hopefully this is the beginning of the end for the mini dictatorship disguised as a trading bloc.
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Napp
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(Original post by mnot)
The EU roll out has been appalling, frankly the speed will cost lives. But to threaten UK lives is not diplomacy and frankly does nothing but build animosity between us all, this is the type of move Trump would have enacted (someone many people in Brussels despise so the hypocrisy is notable). Covid lockdowns will one day be behind us and any action they take will be remembered.

Frankly if I was other EU nations I would have given nation state approval for the Astrazeneca vaccine long ago as they are allowed to do (even if Brussels doesn't like it). The EU insisted that its member states come work together on the rollout but the EU and EMA have been far too slow and now they are getting embarrassed the UK has been pragmatic and agile with the vaccination. The reality is the first month was always going to be the slowest if they had any sense they would ask for the rollout data and see the optimal way to run vaccination centres, information we are learning.

Should they look to halt exports of Pfizer vaccine to the UK we have an astrazeneca production facility in the UK and the Moderna vaccine should come on line March/April time. We will get through this with or without the EU acting like a petulant child.
Indeed it has been, as it their recent comment concerning not giving the AZ one to the elderly. However, that's not really the point here. Just as the British response to Covid has been appalling, worse than Europes in some regards, that is also beside the point here. After all, this is quite simply a matter of putting peoples citizens first, its rather hard to fault them for putting their people ahead of 'foreigners'. After all, if the shoe were on the other foot i have no doubt most people here would be cheering the move not to potentially sacrifice British lives for those evil 'eurofascists' (as some like to call them these days). For example, your first sentence there laying the blame squarely on them (which isnt wrong) but, as i said, if it were the other way around? Would your comment be the same? You'll have to pardon me for finding the idea somewhat questionable.
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Napp
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(Original post by rockrunride)
Petulant. Hopefully this is the beginning of the end for the mini dictatorship disguised as a trading bloc.
Interesting observation, which bit of their political structure shows them as that? To the trading bloc comment, in fairness, that cloak was dispensed with quite some time ago though.

One thing about this though, why do you hope that the death of eu citizens, due to their omnishambles of a roll out, ends in the collapse of the block? It seems a bit tasteless to use a pandemic and deaths of thousands to aim for scoring political points in the brexit vein.
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mnot
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(Original post by Napp)
Indeed it has been, as it their recent comment concerning not giving the AZ one to the elderly. However, that's not really the point here. Just as the British response to Covid has been appalling, worse than Europes in some regards, that is also beside the point here. After all, this is quite simply a matter of putting peoples citizens first, its rather hard to fault them for putting their people ahead of 'foreigners'. After all, if the shoe were on the other foot i have no doubt most people here would be cheering the move not to potentially sacrifice British lives for those evil 'eurofascists' (as some like to call them these days). For example, your first sentence there laying the blame squarely on them (which isnt wrong) but, as i said, if it were the other way around? Would your comment be the same? You'll have to pardon me for finding the idea somewhat questionable.
The problem is the EU comments are very misleading, claiming AZ are obligated to divert supplies from a factory in Oxford to Europe, when this factory had nothing to do with EU vaccine production. The fact the Belgium vaccine production is slow lies squarely with the short preparation time which was down to EU bureaucracy (for a vaccine the EMA still haven't even approved as of yet).

If they are going to grab what they can hold of, I understand that nationalistic approach but what they are saying is factually misleading. Just say the Pfizer factory is in the EU, we dont respect the contracts agreed we are taking them for our people regardless of the law, EU lives first fallout second.
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rockrunride
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(Original post by Napp)
Interesting observation, which bit of their political structure shows them as that? To the trading bloc comment, in fairness, that cloak was dispensed with quite some time ago though.

One thing about this though, why do you hope that the death of eu citizens, due to their omnishambles of a roll out, ends in the collapse of the block? It seems a bit tasteless to use a pandemic and deaths of thousands to aim for scoring political points in the brexit vein.
Firstly, the wielder of executive power, the commission, has about as much accountability to the ordinary voter as Philip Green has to his pension deficit.

Secondly, fair point, you are correct to assume that I already disliked the EU prior to the arrival of COVID and it was fitting to my view of them. Just as other opponents of the Government (Sturgeon, Drakeford) have now found a convenient moment to "take [back] control"...
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caravaggio2
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Just now on the BBC website.......

The EU is introducing controls on vaccines made in the bloc to prevent their export to Northern Ireland, amid a row about delivery shortfalls.

Under the Brexit deal, all products should be exported from the EU to Northern Ireland without checks.
But the EU believed this could be used to circumvent export controls, with NI becoming a backdoor to the wider UK.
DUP leader Arlene Foster described the move as "an incredible act of hostility" by the EU.
The EU invoked Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol which allows parts of the deal to be unilaterally overridden.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-55864442
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Rakas21
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(Original post by caravaggio2)
Just now on the BBC website.......

The EU is introducing controls on vaccines made in the bloc to prevent their export to Northern Ireland, amid a row about delivery shortfalls.

Under the Brexit deal, all products should be exported from the EU to Northern Ireland without checks.
But the EU believed this could be used to circumvent export controls, with NI becoming a backdoor to the wider UK.
DUP leader Arlene Foster described the move as "an incredible act of hostility" by the EU.
The EU invoked Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol which allows parts of the deal to be unilaterally overridden.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-55864442
This is brilliant. It gives us open precedent to defy the agreement unilaterally whenever we like.

Oh remoaners.. and you wanted this deal.
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mnot
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(Original post by caravaggio2)
Just now on the BBC website.......

The EU is introducing controls on vaccines made in the bloc to prevent their export to Northern Ireland, amid a row about delivery shortfalls.

Under the Brexit deal, all products should be exported from the EU to Northern Ireland without checks.
But the EU believed this could be used to circumvent export controls, with NI becoming a backdoor to the wider UK.
DUP leader Arlene Foster described the move as "an incredible act of hostility" by the EU.
The EU invoked Article 16 of the Northern Ireland Protocol which allows parts of the deal to be unilaterally overridden.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-55864442
The reality of the situation is this has nothing to do with the UK government. The EU has a contract with the Anglo-Swedish AZ, the UK government has a separate deal. The supply chains were drawn up separately and the EU is trying to bully AZ into intertwining them and has now made something nothing to do with the UK government into a political nightmare.

Invoking an element of a political treaty in bad faith less then a month after they promised Ireland, NI & the UK they wouldn't, in fact they've spent 4 & a half years insisting if their was a hard border it would be the UKs doing, yet it took them less than a month.

We will get through this pandemic, but this needs to be remembered. This is not the way you treat your allies. The EU is doing terrific advertisement for those who want a CANZUK deal, and frankly after this I think we should look to are commonwealth allies & across the pond.
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londonmyst
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(Original post by Rakas21)
This is brilliant. It gives us open precedent to defy the agreement unilaterally whenever we like.

Oh remoaners.. and you wanted this deal.
:clap2:
PRSOM.
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rockrunride
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Dunno. This is probably anything but "brilliant". Justice 100% yeah. Vindication 100% yeah. But probably the wrong time to get happy about the EU being proven wrong.
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DanB1991
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(Original post by mnot)
The problem is the EU comments are very misleading, claiming AZ are obligated to divert supplies from a factory in Oxford to Europe, when this factory had nothing to do with EU vaccine production. The fact the Belgium vaccine production is slow lies squarely with the short preparation time which was down to EU bureaucracy (for a vaccine the EMA still haven't even approved as of yet).

If they are going to grab what they can hold of, I understand that nationalistic approach but what they are saying is factually misleading. Just say the Pfizer factory is in the EU, we dont respect the contracts agreed we are taking them for our people regardless of the law, EU lives first fallout second.
But that is the precisely the point.

The company as a whole agreed to supply the EU with the vaccine and agreed to ensure their 'primary' production factories would be used regardless if they were in the UK or EU.

We now know the Oxford plant was included in this agreement as a primary factory. The whole contract is pretty much a non-issue. AstraZeneca failed to deliver as agreed, so the EU is stopping them sending vaccines made in their plants in the EU to the UK.

By contrast AstraZeneca is refusing to send vaccines made in the UK to make up the shortfall in the EU due to an agreement they made with the UK, ignoring the fact their agreement with the EU stipulated that UK production should be used to make up the shortfall if it came from the Oxford site.

Ultimately AstraZeneca is in the wrong here.
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