Wednesday

21st Apr 2021

Leaked figures show EU efforts to secure and export vaccines

  • EU-based firms shipped out 24.7m doses, and delivered over 50m to member states (Photo: European Commission)

EU states had exported 24.7 million does of coronavirus vaccines to 31 countries around the world as of 3 March, according to internal figures which came to light amid a row on "vaccine nationalism".

The UK was Europe's top export destination, receiving 8.1 million does, followed by Canada (3 million), Japan (2.7 million), Mexico (2.5 million), and Saudi Arabia (1 million).

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Chile, Singapore, Malaysia, the US, and Australia also received over half-a-million doses each, according to a four-page European Commission document, dated 3 March, and seen by EUobserver.

The figures backed up EU Council president Charles Michel's recent claim that Europe was leading global efforts to curb the pandemic.

And they came in a nasty atmosphere, in which some UK politicians had accused Europe of hoarding the drugs for itself by trying to stop individual overseas shipments due to producers' failures to deliver on contractual obligations.

But at the same time, the figures showed disparities in vaccination rates in EU member states, which threatened to ignite public anger that vaccines were going abroad, even as Europe struggled to meet internal demand.

Malta (15.5), Denmark (10.6), and Cyprus (9.3) led the league table of total vaccinations (first and second jabs) administered so far per 100 members of countries' populations.

The majority of EU states were in the six-to-nine percent range, with an average of 7.8.

But some states were trailing far behind, with Latvia doing the worst (3.4), followed by Bulgaria (3.8), and Croatia (4.8).

The total number of doses delivered to EU countries stood at 51.4 million.

The main suppliers were pharmaceutical firms BioNTech/Pfizer, which had signed contracts for 600 million doses, followed by Moderna (460 million), CureVac (405 million), AstraZeneca (400 million), and Johnson & Johnson (400 million).

Sanofi also signed deals for 300 million, while contracts with Novavax (200 million) and Valneva (60 million) were still under negotiations.

EU-UK vaccine 'nationalism' spat intensifies

Britain has rejected claims from the European Council president Charles Michel, who accused the UK of imposing a ban on vaccine exports. Meanwhile, one-third of vaccines produced in the EU last month were exported to the UK.

Opinion

The Left: No more 'sorry', we want vaccine-fiasco inquiry

The Left won't let this pass. The European Parliament must establish a Committee of Inquiry to investigate the EU Commission for illegal conduct, maladministration and negligence, and to make sure these mistakes don't happen again.

Vaccine export 'ban' row heats up ahead of EU summit

"This is not about banning vaccine exports, this is about making sure that companies deliver on their commitments to the member states and the EU that are inscribed in contracts," commission spokesman Eric Mamer said.

EU missed March vaccination target for priority groups

The EU failed to reach its target of having at least 80 percent of the elderly and healthcare workers vaccinated by the end of March. According to estimates, 55 percent will be vaccinated by the end of June.

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