The Brexit Blog

The Brexit Blog
News and comment on the Brexit process, as Britain tries to leave the EU.

Thursday, 8 April 2021

The Empire Strikes Back - Britain Breaks EU's Australian Vaccine Blockade


Britain has put family first, wrt Covid vaccines.

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age reports that Australia’s early rollout has been propped up by 717,000 doses manufactured in the UK rather than from factories in Europe as widely believed.

The need to source jabs from the UK underscores the difficulties Australia and AstraZeneca have faced in extracting supply from the EU under the bloc’s tough new export controls. It is now known that not a single AstraZeneca dose has been exported to Australia from Europe. 

The first 300,000 UK-made doses landed at Sydney Airport on February 28 – one month after the European Commission introduced new curbs limiting the export of vaccines produced on the Continent.

The Morrison government said at the time that the shipment had come from “overseas”, which was presumed to be continental Europe, a major hub for production.

Another large batch arrived on an Emirates passenger plane in March, well after Italy and the European Commission formally blocked an application by AstraZeneca to ship 250,000 doses to Australia.


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