INDEPENDENT NEWS

EU Ambassador In Wellington On Covid-19 Vaccine Export Authorisation Tool

Published: Mon 1 Feb 2021 03:09 PM
The Delegation of the European Union acknowledges that the EU decision on checks of vaccine exports from the EU has caused concern in New Zealand.
Over the weekend, the European Union adopted a set of targeted and temporary measures to control vaccine exports until the end of March 2021. This means, in practice, European-based pharmaceutical companies must seek authorisation before they export Covid-19 vaccines.
The EU is taking this step to ensure it receives its pre-paid vaccines as expected. The EU has paid for Covid-19 vaccines with a number of pharmaceutical companies, but is only receiving one in four of its paid doses.
Doses that were initially allotted for the EU may have been exported to third countries. This delays the vaccination rollout to a region that is gravely afflicted by Covid-19 with thousands of people dying every day.
The EU is concerned by the lack of transparency around the ways some companies are operating and wants to achieve greater openness for the global distribution of vaccines. We expect this transparency will benefit New Zealand and ensure it receives its full quota on time as per its own agreements.
As well, we want to prevent the trafficking and reselling for profit of vaccines. Data on the supply chain will achieve this.
The European Union remains fully committed to international solidarity and its international obligations. The EU has contributed €500 million (NZ$8.47 million) to COVAX to ensure fair and universal access to Covid-19 vaccines. Vaccine exports as part of humanitarian assistance or COVAX will proceed.
From the beginning, the EU has supported the rapid development and production of several vaccines against COVID-19 with a total of €2.7 billion (NZ$4.54 billion). Prior authorisation is in keeping with the EU's commitment to full and fair deployment of vaccines.

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