The European Union is refraining from canceling part of the Northern Ireland Protocol, which will prevent the export of Corona vaccines to the United Kingdom. Earlier in the day, the European Commission imposed checks on the borders of Northern Ireland, due to anger over the raging conflict between the European Union and the Swedish-British pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca.
The European Union wanted to prevent medicines made in the European Union from providing vaccines made in the European Union to countries that are not members of the European Union, except for countries such as Norway and Iceland.
AstraZeneca announced more than a week ago that it would be able to offer significantly lower doses in the first quarter of this year than it had initially promised, much to the ire of the European Commission. Brussels suspects AstraZeneca gave the UK priority in vaccine delivery, because that country had signed an earlier contract. So the European Union wanted to check the entire production line for the company.
According to the Northern Ireland protocol agreed to in the Brexit agreement, all products must be transferable from the European Union to Northern Ireland without restrictions. However, the European Union adopted Article 16 of the protocol on Friday, which allows parts of the agreement to be unilaterally revoked in certain circumstances. This made difficult “borders” a reality for a while, which had been central to the Brexit negotiations between the United Kingdom and the European Union for years.
Later on Friday, the European Union decided to amend its export controls so that vaccine exports from Ireland to Northern Ireland are not at risk. Earlier, the committee reached a test to boost the global vaccine race that had broken out. Vaccine manufacturers with whom Brussels has a contract may export vaccines outside the European Union only if supplies to the European Union itself are not compromised. If they want to export, they have to request permission from now on.
The European Union is working on a “transparent mechanism” on vaccine exports
Irish Prime Minister Michael Martin Answered On Friday evening, he was pleased with the European Commission’s decision to refrain from using Article 16. He had contact with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen several times on Friday. And he announced via Twitter on Friday evening that the European Union is working on a transparent mechanism through which to better control vaccine exports.
Many European Union countries, including the Netherlands, have invested heavily in the AstraZeneca vaccine. The Netherlands had hoped to receive millions of vaccines in February and March, but it would have to make do with what is now on the table with about 1.2 million to 1.5 million doses.