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EU says message to vaccine makers clear after controversy in Italy


European Commission spokesperson Eric Mamer is pictured during a press conference in Brussels, Belgium in March 2020. Dursun Aydemir / Anadolu Agency / Getty Images

The European Commission says the message to vaccine manufacturers is very clear and calls on them to do everything possible to honor the contracts they have signed with the bloc, its chief spokesperson said on Friday.

Eric Mamer, the main spokesperson for the trade bloc, spoke of Italy’s decision to block the export of 250,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to Australia during a press briefing.

“The message is very clear … that we expect companies with which the European Union has signed advance purchasing agreements, to do their utmost to comply with the contracts with the delivery contracts they have. with Member States, ”said Mamer.

The fact is that the European Union is a major exporter of vaccine doses, ”he added.

“We have always said that we are actually in intense discussions with the company to ensure that the delivery schedule is met because the EMA has cleared this vaccine, and we are urging Member States to use it.

The spokesperson added that it was not for the EU to tell the company where the doses should go, adding that they remain in AstraZeneca’s possession.

“We’re not making a decision that says these 250,000 doses have to go to X or Y, that’s none of our business,” he said.

“Our job is to say that a decision was taken by the Italian authorities that we supported on exports, because the assessment is that progress must be made on delivery to EU countries, and that’s basically the conversation we’re going to continue. to have with the business.

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