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Italy Stops AstraZeneca COVID-19 Vaccine Exports To Australia: CNBC


Europe’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout has come under the spotlight again after the Italian government blocked a shipment of Oxford-AstraZeneca plc (NASDAQ: AZN) shots to Australia, reports CNBC.

  • The EU is already struggling to keep up with the pace of inoculations per citizen compared to other advanced economies. 
  • There are complaints that regulators are too slow to approve vaccines, manufacturing and delivery issues, and national red tape, hindering the process.
  • Recently, the European Commission said that it is considering emergency approvals for COVID-19 vaccines as a faster alternative to lengthy conditional marketing authorizations.
  • On Thursday, Italy stopped around 250,000 doses of the vaccine from its Anagni, Italy, plant being shipped to Australia, becoming the first EU country to use the bloc’s new regulations that allow exports to be stopped if needs be.
  • The EU announced in late January new rules that allow European member states, where coronavirus shots are produced, to ban their exports in case the pharmaceutical firm involved is not complying with pre-existing contracts with the bloc.
  • The shipment to Australia was blocked because it is not on the EU’s list of vulnerable nations. The EU’s regulation exempts distribution to poorer countries from being blocked by member states.
  • The EU and AstraZeneca have been at odds after AZN announced to cut deliveries to the bloc by around 60% in the first quarter to 31M doses.
  • The company also said it was not able to indicate its targets for the second quarter.
  • Price Action: AZN shares are trading 0.28% higher at $47.36 on the last check Friday

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Posted-In: COVID-19 VaccineBiotech Government News Health Care Contracts FDA General

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