EU threatens to block exports of Vaccine

Cliff

Distinguished Member
The EU has wrapped itself in bureaucratic red tape and the roll out of the vaccine for the 27 has been hopelessly slow. They are looking at us, over the water, and at how good our program is going so far. (makes a change!) Supplies are short, and the EU is in a catch-up game. They were 3 months behind with their order to AstraZeneca, and now are looking at blocking Pfizer doses that were ordered long ago by the U.K.

Is this really how the EU wants to portray itself?
Anyway, the EU President has ordered that all shipments to the U.K. are declared.
This is probably because of the backlash and criticism within the EU.

It was reported a couple of weeks ago by critics in Germany that had they organised the roll out, rather than trying to do it centrally through the EU it would have with been much faster.

Let‘s hope everyone keeps a cool head and contracts are honoured and not blocked by the EU.
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
They haven't threatened to block, they have proposed export controls. That's quite a big difference.
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
So if they control and reduce our shipments that we have legitimately ordered, that’s OK?
I think it depends. This was discussed in the politics forum earlier today but there are a whole host of issues in the mix here.

First, the EU is focused on a fair share and distribution across Europe including the UK. That is a political decision that transcends contracts.

Second, we also have the suggestion (and I have no idea how accurate it is) that the AZ vaccine is less effective on over 65s. If so, or perceived to be so by national Governments, that means the vaccines for the over 65 are now in much shorter supply than originally thought. If so it makes sense to ensure that Pfizer jabs are spread around to give some cover everywhere.

Third, ultimately production of the vaccines is a national security matter for any State so it is right that those who produce it should see it all exported? The US, UK and others have all embarked on similar protectionism when it has suited their national interests. And the UK is producing the AZ vaccine so its not as if the UK will go without anything.

Fourth, once the production lines are meeting demand the matter can move from the political sphere back into standard commerce at which point contracts can be honoured.
 

tapzilla2k

Distinguished Member
So if they control and reduce our shipments that we have legitimately ordered, that’s OK?
If the Oxford vaccine was being made exclusively in the UK (it isn't) then we could do the same thing.
AstraZeneca's CEO explains what the issue is with vaccine production delays in the EU. The UK had similar issues but we ordered vaccine supplies ahead of authorisation being given so we are further along in the manufacturing process -
Pascal Soriot: "There are a lot of emotions on vaccines in EU. But it's complicated" - la Repubblica
 

Cliff

Distinguished Member
Wow. Looking very bad in the EU. Advert for Brexit?
The EU is acting 'slowly, bureaucratically and protectionist... and if something goes wrong, it's everyone else's fault' fumed a front-page editorial in Die Zeit, one of Germany's best-respected broadsheets.

Meanwhile Bild tore apart Von Der Leyen's explanation of the vaccine delays and threat to stop supplies heading to the UK line by line, accusing her of placing 'junk' orders for vaccines three months behind Britain.



 

fluxo

Distinguished Member
It is a bit worrying that the export of the Pfizer vaccine could be blocked. Thousands of people are expecting to get their second dose. What’s the plan if we haven’t got enough of the vaccine for that?
 

Aj33

Distinguished Member

Belzok

Well-known Member
Well thats really going to ensure a good working relationship with a major trading partner.

Not in the slightest surprised, they've seriously dropped the ball.

You would hope if this happens the people of this country might actually shiw some backbone and boycott their important exports, such as cars.
 

Cliff

Distinguished Member
They haven't threatened to block, they have proposed export controls. That's quite a big difference.
Well they have now!

Millions of doses of coronavirus vaccine could be blocked from entering Britain from the EU within days after Brussels said it had to respond to shortages emerging in member states.

Following reports of a lack of doses across the bloc, the European commission announced plans to give national regulators the power to reject export requests. The development raises concerns over the continued flow of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, for which the UK has a 40m-dose order, from its plant in Belgium.


EU could block millions of Covid vaccine doses from entering UK
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
Well they have now!

Millions of doses of coronavirus vaccine could be blocked from entering Britain from the EU within days after Brussels said it had to respond to shortages emerging in member states.

Following reports of a lack of doses across the bloc, the European commission announced plans to give national regulators the power to reject export requests. The development raises concerns over the continued flow of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, for which the UK has a 40m-dose order, from its plant in Belgium.


EU could block millions of Covid vaccine doses from entering UK
Not really. It is still export controls with prohibition as the final option. It is quite clear in the article (my emphasis):

“There is a possibility in certain circumstances not to allow the export to come forward...that would be the final option.”
 

Cliff

Distinguished Member
Not really. It is still export controls with prohibition as the final option. It is quite clear in the article (my emphasis):

“There is a possibility in certain circumstances not to allow the export to come forward...that would be the final option.”
Whichever way you dress it up, that is clearly a threat.
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
Whichever way you dress it up, that is clearly a threat.
I disagree - for all the reasons I outlined in post #4 - all of which remain extant.

It would benefit everyone if the UK took a more collaborative approach here. Instead or hording vaccines, a fair and equitable share across the continent is the much smarter thing to do. First, if the AZ/Oxford vaccine is less effective on the over 65 populace then it is in our interests to have access to the more effective EU vaccines for that age group. Second, we are entirely reliant on food supplies from the continent so it is not as if we can shut our borders - we need a continent wide solution.
 

goingoingong

Distinguished Member
I disagree - for all the reasons I outlined in post #4 - all of which remain extant.

It would benefit everyone if the UK took a more collaborative approach here. Instead or hording vaccines, a fair and equitable share across the continent is the much smarter thing to do. First, if the AZ/Oxford vaccine is less effective on the over 65 populace then it is in our interests to have access to the more effective EU vaccines for that age group. Second, we are entirely reliant on food supplies from the continent so it is not as if we can shut our borders - we need a continent wide solution.
Except that fails to take account of differing national death rates. On a simple fair share basis Germany, with half the UK death rate but a bigger population, would get a larger share than the UK.

And hoarding is hardly an apt description for the current position where the vaccines are in short supply and get used almost as soon as they are made.
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
Except that fails to take account of differing national death rates. On a simple fair share basis Germany, with half the UK death rate but a bigger population, would get a larger share than the UK.

And hoarding is hardly an apt description for the current position where the vaccines are in short supply and get used almost as soon as they are made.
I think it is a question of balance. None of us have all the facts yet but what we do know is that vaccines made in the EU were shipped to the UK and that was allowed on the expectation there was going to be repricocal supply. That hasn't happened and there seems to be suggestions of foul play.
 

Rasczak

Distinguished Member
Except that fails to take account of differing national death rates. On a simple fair share basis Germany, with half the UK death rate but a bigger population, would get a larger share than the UK.

And hoarding is hardly an apt description for the current position where the vaccines are in short supply and get used almost as soon as they are made.
I think it is a question of balance. None of us have all the facts yet but what we do know is that vaccines made in the EU were shipped to the UK and that was allowed on the expectation there was going to be repricocal supply. That hasn't happened and there seems to be suggestions of foul play.
 

goingoingong

Distinguished Member
I think it is a question of balance. None of us have all the facts yet but what we do know is that vaccines made in the EU were shipped to the UK and that was allowed on the expectation there was going to be repricocal supply. That hasn't happened and there seems to be suggestions of foul play.
It was allowed as it was a commerical contract. If I go to buy a new Ford car at the start of the new reg year I'll receive it on a time basis: first come, first served.

The reported reason given by the EU for their later orders was to get a lower vaccine price. Which it does seem to have done but at the cost of spending a lot of time to achieve it. The early bird gets the more expensive worm...;)

This is the list of what the EU is paying:
  • Oxford/AstraZeneca: €1.78 (£1.61).
  • Johnson & Johnson: $8.50 (£6.30).
  • Sanofi/GSK: €7.56.
  • Pfizer/BioNTech: €12.
  • CureVac: €10.
  • Moderna: $18.
Belgian minister tweets EU's Covid vaccine price list to anger of manufacturers

The UK is reported to be paying £3 per dose for AZ and £15 per dose for Pfizer, both substantially more than the cost of these for the EU.

If this is to be believed what we are now seeing played out is a result of political infighting within the EU How Europe fell behind on vaccines

And from this it would appear that EU fair share takes no account of the death rate of a country
Each country receives the percentage share of doses due in proportion to the population according to Eurostat estimates.
Vax Day, le dosi del vaccino Paese per Paese


On that EU fair share basis the UK would get less vaccine doses in a time frame than Germany although the UK has a death rate of 1515 per million vs Germany's 670 per million. And the UK would also be paying more per dose.

To put it another way more people would die in the UK waiting for a vaccination than would die waiting in Germany. It would take a politician of far greater skill than any available in the UK to sell that position to the UK public...
 
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acatweasel

Well-known Member
I think it is a question of balance. None of us have all the facts yet but what we do know is that vaccines made in the EU were shipped to the UK and that was allowed on the expectation there was going to be repricocal supply. That hasn't happened and there seems to be suggestions of foul play.
Where do you get the reciprocal supply from? Foul play?
We were in first, paid more and expect to get. As for principle arguments, when I see the EU giving up some of their supply for third world countries then OK.
They were slow off the mark to order and to approve. And I voted to stay in!
 

Aj33

Distinguished Member
As for principle arguments, when I see the EU giving up some of their supply for third world countries then OK.
I believe the EU are also contributing less to the COVAX fund than the U.K.
 

scarty16

Well-known Member
Here is the EU AZ Contract
 

Attachments

  • Vaccines__contract_between_European_Commission_and_AstraZeneca_now_published.pdf
    31.3 KB · Views: 61
  • APA_-_AstraZeneca.pdf.pdf
    1,001 KB · Views: 31

scarty16

Well-known Member
1.9. “Best Reasonable Efforts” means
(a) in the case of AstraZeneca, the activities and degree of effort that a company
of similar size with a similarly-sized infrastructure and similar resources as
AstraZeneca would undertake or use in the development and manufacture of a
Vaccine at the relevant stage of development or commercialization having regard
to the urgent need for a Vaccine to end a global pandemic which is resulting in
serious public health issues, restrictions on personal freedoms and economic
impact, across the world but taking into account efficacy and safety; and
(b) in the case of the Commission and the Participating Member States, the
activities and degree of effort that governments would undertake or use in
supporting their contractor in the development of the Vaccine having regard to the
urgent need for a Vaccine to end a global pandemic which is resulting in serious
public health issues, restrictions on personal freedoms and economic impact, across
the world.
 

scarty16

Well-known Member
WHEREAS, as part of that scale-up, AstraZeneca has committed to use its Best
Reasonable Efforts (as defined below) to build capacity to manufacture 300 million Doses of
the Vaccine, at no profit and no loss to AstraZeneca,

Capacity Limitations. In the event AstraZeneca's ability to fulfill its
obligations under this Agreement is impeded by a competing agreement entered into by
or on behalf of the Commission, AstraZeneca shall promptly inform the Commission.
While AstraZeneca shall continue to use Best Reasonable Efforts to engage with its
own contract manufacturers and suppliers to utilize the capacity and/or components, the
Commission will assist in finding a mutually acceptable solution for this Agreement
and the competing agreement.
 

fluxo

Distinguished Member
WHEREAS, as part of that scale-up, AstraZeneca has committed to use its Best
Reasonable Efforts (as defined below) to build capacity to manufacture 300 million Doses of
the Vaccine, at no profit and no loss to AstraZeneca,

Capacity Limitations. In the event AstraZeneca's ability to fulfill its
obligations under this Agreement is impeded by a competing agreement entered into by
or on behalf of the Commission, AstraZeneca shall promptly inform the Commission.
While AstraZeneca shall continue to use Best Reasonable Efforts to engage with its
own contract manufacturers and suppliers to utilize the capacity and/or components, the
Commission will assist in finding a mutually acceptable solution for this Agreement
and the competing agreement.

There’s also this (apparently):


However, in these cases the competing agreements appear to be with EU countries or organisations, not the UK. I don’t know the first thing about contract law, so I’ll leave it at that.
 

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