Covid: Tougher EU vaccine export controls could hit UK as continent faces possible third wave

Brussels has said export controls are necessary to stop European pharmaceutical companies sending their vaccines abroad when they are needed in Europe.

Citing the “very serious epidemiological situation” on the continent and possible third wave, European Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis said new conditions would be imposed on manufacturers.

Mr Dombrovskis said one firm, AstraZeneca has “only delivered a small portion of its agreed contractual commitments” with the EU while continuing to export to Britain.

And he declined to rule out blocking shipments to the UK, stating only that “concrete decisions will be taken on a case by cases basis” with individual shipments.

It comes after 29 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine thought to be bound for Mexico and Canada were blocked from leaving Italy.

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