As the bloc sits on about 20 million unused doses, the European Union government is said to be divided over a controversial proposal to withhold vaccine export to the UK.
On Wednesday EU Ambassadors discussed a new proposal by the European Commission that would restrict exports of vaccines to countries- the UK in particular- that do not reciprocate or that already have high vaccination rates. Receiving 10 million of the 42 million exported shots, the UK is the largest recipient of doses made in the EU.
On Wednesday, Ursula von der Leyen, Commission President stated, “All options are on the table- we are in the crisis of the century” and that they must make sure that Europeans are vaccinated as soon as possible.
Italy and France informed that they are open to exploring the vaccine export ban while other such as Ireland, Belgium, and the Netherlands, urged caution and warned about the possible negative impact on European companies.
• On Thursday European Commission Spokesperson Eric Mamer stated, “What is obvious is that all of the vaccines which are currently being deployed require a second dose and therefore it is only natural that you would have a stock of vaccines which are in reserve”.