Latest YouGov poll suggests in EU ‘Big Four’ - Italy, Spain, Germany, France - more people believe the AstraZeneca jab to be unsafe than safe. A big drop over 2 weeks #covid /1
This follows the recent suspension of the AZ rollout in over 15 European countries as alleged links between the jab and rare blood clots in the brain were examined. The European Medicines Agency has since declared the jab safe. US clinical trials have now suggested the same.. /2
EU leaders are queuing up to say they’d have - or are having - the AZ vaccine in order to try to boost public confidence but it appears a lot of damage has been done AND YET the EU needs the AZ jab as part of its vaccine rollout - already way behind U.K. and US /3
Rumbles ongoing about EU now preparing to block expected U.K. export request from Netherlands-based plant producing AZ jabs. The EU has been badly let down by AstraZeneca which promised Brussels tens of millions more jabs than it’s delivered /4
Despite vaccine shortages, EU has continued exporting vaccines produced in the bloc around the world. EU Commission insists the biggest recipient of its vaccine exports has been the U.K. but it says the UK has not exported any vaccines from its production plants to the EU /5
U.K. contract with AstraZeneca apparently includes receiving supplies from production plants in EU -like that in the Netherlands. EU contract with AstraZeneca says its supplies will be furnished by plants in the EU and the U.K. /6
So now what? EU leaders will meet for a virtual summit on Thursday to discuss the ongoing covid crisis and the question of export bans on AZ vaccines as long as the pharmaceutical company fails to deliver on its contract with the EU /7
Italy has already used the powers to ban a shipment of 250,000 AZ jabs to Australia BUT EU Commission wants to go a step further - potentially banning exports of jabs from any pharmaceutical company to countries that have vaccine production facilities, are not exporting to EU /8
And are already far ahead of the EU in their own vaccine rollout. Here the Commission seems to be pointing at the U.K. in particular. BUT it’s NOT at all clear that the majority of EU countries will accept this Commission proposal /9
Meanwhile EU’s Internal Mkt Commissioner has been charged with looking for ways to boost EU vaccine production capabilities. It’s proving quite a challenge. EU diplomats comment that this comes rather late in the day and that “forward planning” has been painfully lacking /10

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More from @BBCkatyaadler

15 Mar
The EU has started formal legal action against the UK over the government decision to unilaterally delay checks on some goods coming into NIreland from Great Britain. The European Commission accuses the U.K. of breaking international law - the Brexit deal signed by both sides /1
Today the PM said the decision to delay some border checks constituted “temporary and technical measures” which were “very sensible.” Downing Street has said the move was “lawful and necessary” to ensure food continues to flow onto supermarket shelves in Northern Ireland /2
The EU case could lead to a judgment by the European Court of Justice, even though the UK has left the EU. The case is likely to take months or years to process and could result in a fine or sanctions imposed on British goods /3
Read 4 tweets
4 Mar
EU official dismisses attempts to “try to make the EU look like the bad guys for blocking the export of vaccines from pharma companies that haven’t honoured their contractual obligations with the EU” /1
Defending Italy’s controversial move today to bloc 250,000 AZ vaccines going to Australia, the official said “Zero” AstraZeneca vaccines had been exported to EU from the 2 factories in the U.K. He added that US had a de facto ban on vaccine exports in place but /2
He said the EU allowed many exports of vaccines out of the bloc. He countered my question about whether blocking exports wld damage the EU’s reputation internationally and insisted “other countries” (outside EU) were skilled at glossing over their own de facto export bans /3
Read 4 tweets
2 Feb
Angela Merkel has just admitted on German public broadcaster ARD that it ‘rankles’ that U.K., US and Israel are vaccinating faster than EU countries but she insisted that nothing went wrong with the bloc’s procurement of vaccines /1
Britain, she said, had given an emergency approval to the Astra Zeneca vaccine within 24 hours but the EU had decided against that because, she said, countries depended on the trust of their citizens /2
Chancellor Merkel said in interview the EU wouldn’t have got more vaccines if it had offered more money to pharmaceutical companies. She said every vaccine is welcome in the EU as long as it’s approved by the European Medicines Agency /3
Read 5 tweets
2 Feb
On German public broadcaster ARD just now Angela Merkel refused to accept criticism of the EU vaccine approval process. She defended the EU decision to go slower saying it was a matter of trust and attention to detail. She was asked about supply too /1
Whether - if the EU had been willing to pay more - it could have got more jabs and faster. Did national interest play a role she was asked: eg France wanting to favour the Sanofi vaccine? Merkel said no. She focused on the Pfizer vaccine in her answer, saying /2
The US exported virtually none of the Pfizer vaccine it produced so Europe was reliant on its own production plants, she said. She said that these were in the process of being added to /3
Read 5 tweets
2 Feb
The EU Commission denies President von der Leyen “attacked”’the U.K. over its vaccine approval policy.
In an interview with a number of European papers she was asked about the slower approval by the European Medicines Agency of vaccines compared to countries eg U.K. but /1
The Commission says von der Leyen answered the question comparing two methods. Not singling out the U.K.
Journalists in the room report the same Eg… and… /2
Von der Leyen is quoted as saying “Some countries started to vaccinate a little before Europe, it is true,” “But they resorted to emergency, 24-hour marketing authorisation procedures. The commission and the member states agreed not to compromise with the safety and efficacy..“/3
Read 6 tweets
29 Jan
After huge to + fro between AstraZeneca and Brussels about the terms of their #covid vaccines contract, the EU Commission says AstraZeneca has now agreed to publish the contract. EU has argued terms include delivery of vaccines from the company’s UK as well as EU production sites
Contract does mention that under the terms of making the”best reasonable efforts”(legal term in this context) to provide EU with agreed number of vaccines AstraZeneca would use production facilities in EU but also U.K. and possibly sites outside EU “to accelerate supply” toEurope
EU believes it has a strong case to demand some vaccines produced in U.K. should be diverted to EU to make up the approx 60% shortfall in vaccine delivery to EU up to end of March that AstraZeneca has warned about
Read 6 tweets

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