By Canadian Press
EU leaders grapple with surge of infections vaccine issues
27 March, 2021, 06:59
The EU is divided over whether to take a tougher line on vaccine exports by companies that do not meet contractual commitments.
It is "absolutely vital" that the EU continue working toward improving its vaccine production capabilities, European Council President Charles Michel said following the EU virtual summit.
"We want more transparency, and this is the goal of this mechanism put on the table by the Commission", he said after the European Union summit.
"I think it is clear that, first of all, the company has to catch up, has to honour the contract it has with the European member states, before it can engage again in exporting vaccines", European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said, renewing a threat she made on Wednesday to stop the pharmaceutical giant exporting vaccines made in the EU.
U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, which procures jabs from Europe to Britain, warned the bloc that blockage of supplies to the United Kingdom - ie, export controls - risked creating, just the opposite, a "lose-lose" situation for all parties.
The Netherlands and Belgium, centres of European Union vaccine production, are skittish at talk of an embargo, fearful that disruption to global supply chains could hurt other firms' production.
"Our track record speaks for itself".
However, troubles are mounting at home, as the EU's supply chain is still undermined by the lack of deliveries that affect the roll-out of vaccines.
The UK would also appear to fall foul of the EU's new criteria on vaccination coverage, with 45 jabs administered per 100 residents, compared with 13 per 100 on average across the 27 member states.
And Johnson is also concerned that a ban that extends beyond UK-based AstraZeneca's disputed supply could also block vaccines produced in Belgium for BioNTech/Pfizer.
The situation could still change if the export mechanism is used.
Italian PM Mario Draghi did not rule out that in the absence of coordination within the EU, Rome would be able to order the Russian vaccine.
AstraZeneca is expected to deliver 30 million doses to the European Union in the first quarter - a pledge already radically reduced from the 120 million doses it was initially contracted to provide.
The single-shot Johnson&Johnson vaccine will increase the array of vaccine available in the second quarter, providing countries with a valuable tool in fighting the pandemic.
An online summit held on Thursday discussed the vaccines, whose delivery has been delayed so far. "Efforts to this end must be further intensified", the leaders said.
The company started mRNA manufacturing at Marburg in early February after it bought the former Novartis site in September, right around the time its COVID-19 vaccine was making waves in clinical testing.
She noted she had not seen evidence of British-made jabs having left the country for the EU, whereas the European-made doses have been travelling to the UK.
This coalition of countries was lead by Austria, who threatened to veto the Council's final statement at a certain point of the meeting.
Stressing on worldwide cooperation, Dr Swaminathan said to CNN's Christiane Amanpour that the daily global death toll of 7,000-10,000 is "unnecessary and preventable", and that vaccines should be "equitably and fairly distributed around the world".
Pfizer joins Moderna and AstraZeneca in testing their vaccines in younger children, while Johnson & Johnson has plans to follow. Central, state government hospitals, selected private hospitals and public buildings have been converted to vaccination centres.
According to the Weather Channel , the west Georgia town of Newnan had also seen significant storm damage as of Thursday night. Images shared on social media much of the devastation and destruction left after the tornado hit the state.
While a company might know it has a product sitting on a ship that's stopped, the impact of delays down the line are unknown. The canal extends from the northern terminus of Port Said to the southern terminus of Port Tewfik at the city of Suez.
A total of 82.85 million vaccine doses were given by Tuesday, China's National Health Commission said on Wednesday. China delivered a first batch of donated Sinovac vaccines to the Philippines on February 28.
Those showers will push into the parts of the Valley later this morning bringing scattered showers for the Shoals through midday. The forecasted conditions for fire weather include strong gusting winds and low humidity across the region.
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The proposal is said to be larger than the $1.9 trillion covid relief package that the Congress passed earlier this month. Biden said former Trump had eliminated funding addressing the root causes of why people are leaving their home countries.
Democrats also are pressing ahead with other legislation that faces Republican opposition, including voting-rights legislation. Often times people can legitimately buy a firearm because there's nothing in their background that says that they shouldn't".
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