SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 14 April 2024, Sunday |

Australia calls for release of 3.1 million vaccine doses, if EU not blocking exports

Australia will ask the European Union to release more than 3 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, testing Brussels claim it is not blocking shipments, as the country struggles to vaccinate its population.

The European Union (EU) on Tuesday denied blocking vaccine shipments to Australia, which has fallen dramatically behind in its scheduled vaccination program.

The EU said it was not responsible for AstraZeneca’s failure to uphold commitments to other countries. AstraZeneca did not immediately reply to a request for comment on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia was asked by the EU to withdraw export permit applications and letters requesting supplies have gone unanswered.

Morrison said if the EU was now indicating its willingness to release shipments, he would again ask for the 3.1 million doses to be released. The 3.1 million doses were scheduled to arrive in Australia by the end of March.

“We obviously want those millions of doses,” Morrison told reporters in the capital Canberra.

“Given statements made overnight, that apparently there is no obstruction to that and then I would hope that could be readily addressed.”

Morrison on Wednesday insisted he was not criticizing the EU, but senior members of his government continued to blame the EU for blocking vaccines.

“They’re not giving approval is effectively the same as blocking,” Australia’s Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio.

    Source:
  • Reuters