Brussels is furious with Astrazeneca, accusing the company of prioritizing vaccine deliveries to the UK over those to the EU. EU officials say the Anglo-Swedish company delivered just a third of the 90 million doses of vaccine it had promised in the first quarter of this year, while fully fulfilling its UK contracts. Now the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has threatened to join forces with Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel to block the delivery of 19 million doses of the Astrazeneca vaccine to the United Kingdom.
She said: “We have the option to ban a planned export.
“This is the message to AstraZeneca: you fulfill your contract with Europe before you start supplying other countries. ”
It immediately received the support of the French Minister of European Affairs.
Clément Beaune told AFP that Europe must “defend its interests”, adding: “We need a principle of reciprocity: to supply others if they supply us in accordance with signed contracts”.
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Nearly a third of France went into a month-long shutdown at midnight on Friday, after the country recorded nearly 35,000 cases in 24 hours.
Angela Merkel also warned the Germans that the country should apply an “emergency brake” and reimpose restrictions, as new cases of Covid continue to increase exponentially.