The Australian government has requested the European Commission to revise Italy’s decision to block the export of a quarter of a million AstraZeneca doses to Australia.
This is the first time that new regulations have been applied that permit a ban on exports of EU products, if the pharmaceutical companies do not honour their obligations on the distribution of doses throughout the European block. The issue has further increased tension between AstraZeneca and the EU countries on the delay regarding the pledged allocations to the European block.
Australian Prime Minisiter Scott Morrison stated that, although he requested the EC’s revision, his government understands the Italians decision.
Italy, which has been hardly affected by the pandemic, was supported by the European Commission on its decision to block the export of doses. Some three million Covid cases have been registered in Italy, with nearly 100,000 deaths.
On the other hand, Australia has registered over 29,000 Covid cases, while 900 persons died with the virus.