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EU Ends Export Test for Corona Vaccines

Vaccine manufacturers will no longer have to request permission from next year if they want to export corona vaccines made in the European Union.


The EU now has more than enough vaccines for its own use, even to give everyone a booster shot.

The European Commission instituted the export test at the beginning of this year when the whole world was preying on the scarce first corona vaccines. The measure was intended to prevent, for example, AstraZeneca from making the EU wait any longer for vaccines it ordered, but in the meantime supplying the United Kingdom or other countries.

Concerns that the test would damage the EU’s reputation as a champion of free trade had to give way.

The export rules require manufacturers in an EU country to request permission to export corona vaccines or supplies. A cargo was only stopped once. That was a shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines from Italy destined for Australia. More than 1.3 billion vaccines were simply exported, the committee says.

The test will disappear on January 1, a spokesperson for the European Commission announced. It does, however, come with “a new control mechanism” that keeps the EU’s executive board informed of vaccine exports, she says.

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