Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn has backed European proposals for the introduction of export limits on vaccines amid delivery delays of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 shot and supply shortages.
“I can understand that there are production problems but then it must affect everyone in the same way,” Spahn told ZDF television, Reuters reported on Tuesday.
“This is not about Europe first but about Europe’s fair share,” he added, before saying that export limits on the COVID shots made sense.
Spahn’s comments followed an announcement by AstraZeneca last week that it intends to supply the EU with considerably fewer doses in the coming weeks than agreed. The bloc’s health chief Stella Kyriakides has fired at the British-Swedish pharmaceutical, saying that the EU is expecting some explanations behind the supply cuts, whilst urging the company to deliver the pre-financed doses as soon as possible.
“The European Union wants to know exactly which doses have been produced by AstraZeneca and where exactly so far and if or to whom they have been delivered,” Kyriakides said on Monday.
Later in the day, two German newspapers Handelsblatt and Bild published separate reports supporting that the COVID-19 jab developed by AstraZeneca had an efficacy of less than 10% in those over 65, and the the European Medicines Agency (EMA) should give its green light for market authorisation only for people below that age.
AstraZeneca has dismissed the two reports, labelling them as “completely incorrect”.