Italy blocks export of AstraZeneca covid vaccines to Australia, amid E.U. anger over delivery shortfalls
Italian leaders proposed the block on the Australian shipment, and E.U. policymakers in Brussels signed off on it, the Italian foreign ministry said in a statement.
The decision to block the doses was because of “the lingering shortage of vaccines in the E.U. and in Italy, and the delays in the supply of AstraZeneca vaccines to the E.U. and Italy,” among other reasons, the statement said.
The blocked doses were being injected into vials in Anagni, a town outside Rome, at a plant owned by Catalent, a New Jersey-based drug company.
A spokesman for AstraZeneca declined a request for comment. Australian officials did not respond.
The move could further concerns about vaccine nationalism and inflame international tensions about access to vaccines.
“Blocking exports to meet domestic vaccination targets is a very dangerous card for policymakers to play,” said John Denton, the secretary general of the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce, in a statement. He warned …continued .
[Source: Washington Post]