Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn speaks during a press conference on January 22nd in Berlin. Andreas Gora / Pool / Getty Images
Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn supports a possible export limit for vaccines made in the European Union in a growing dispute with AstraZeneca over a lack of supplies to the bloc.
The EU was informed last week by AstraZeneca that the delivery of vaccines to member states – subject to approval – would not arrive before the end of the first quarter of 2021 as originally forecast.
Spahn said of the German public broadcaster ZDF: “I can understand whether there are production problems with a complex production problem, but then everyone must be affected fairly and equally.”
He went on to say that his position was not about putting the “EU first” but about ensuring that Europe gets its fair share.
“In my opinion [it] It makes sense that we have an export limit, which means that vaccines that leave the European Union have a license so that we know what is being produced, what is leaving Europe, where it is leaving so that there is fair distribution. “
Independently of this, the EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides called for more transparency in the export of vaccines from the European Union.
“We want clarity about transactions and complete transparency regarding the export of vaccines from the EU,” she tweeted late Monday. “In the future, all companies that manufacture vaccines against Covid-19 in the EU must notify them in good time whenever they want.” Export vaccines to third countries. Of course, humanitarian supplies are not affected. “
Earlier Monday, Kyriakides said the pharmaceutical giant’s delays were “unacceptable”.
“The European Union pre-funded the development of the vaccine and its manufacture and wants to see it return,” she said, adding that the bloc wants to know how many doses the company made and who they sold to.
The AstraZeneca vaccine, already approved for emergency use by a number of countries including the UK and Brazil, has been under review by the European Medicines Agency since January 12th. The block has already expedited reviews for the Pfizer / BioNTech shot as well as the Moderna vaccine and both have been approved for use.