European Commission demands predictability of vaccine deliveries after pharmaceutical companies said they would reduce the number of doses supplied.
The European Union says it
will require pharmaceutical companies producing Covid vaccines on its territory
to register in advance any exports to third countries. Moreover, the European
Commission plans to create an export register to ensure transparency when it
comes to the export of vaccines outside of the EU. The Union will also oblige
pharmaceutical companies to respect the contracts signed for the delivery of
Covid vaccines. These decisions come as pharmaceutical companies making these
vaccines last week announced a significant reduction in the number of doses
delivered to EU countries in the first quarter of the year.
On Monday, the European
Commission proposed updating the Council's recommendations on a coordinated
approach to the restriction of free movement in response to the pandemic.
According to a statement from the European Commission, this update comes amid
concerns about the new, more contagious, variants of the virus and an increase
in the number of confirmed cases in many member states. The European Commission
thus discourages non-essential travel, while refraining from closing borders or
imposing a blanket ban on travel. The Commission does not oblige member states
to apply movement restriction measures, but firmly recommends such action,
saying the infection risk associated with travel must be urgently reduced. The
Commission also insists on maintaining a functional single market and
discourages blocking hauliers and cross-border workers, recommending the use of
rapid-result antigen testing in their case.
The Commission believes
coordinated action is needed across the Union with respect to measures limiting
the freedom of movement within the EU. It has also proposed a new way of
mapping risk zones and stricter measures for arrivals from high-risk zones. The
Commission believes countries must boost testing to find out more about the
spread of the new strains and says a well-coordinated, predictable and
transparent approach to the movement of people and goods is necessary to
prevent the spread of the virus and ensure safe movement within the Union. (CM)