UK: Government refuses to provide information on corona vaccine exports

Great Britain refuses to provide information about the exports of corona vaccines to other countries - among other things with reference to the commercial interests of the pharmaceutical companies involved. In a response from the Prime Minister's Conservative government Boris Johnson to a request from the news agency dpa it is said that the data on such exports are available. Out of consideration for commercial interests and questions of national security, however, no information could be given.

"The information requested contains commercially sensitive information and we assume that the publication of this information would harm the commercial interests of the companies concerned," says the letter from the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The government also highlighted security concerns. “Vaccines are a valuable commodity with a very high demand worldwide; therefore, for safety reasons, it is not possible to provide detailed information about the number of vaccine doses carried out and the countries to which they went. "

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EU exported 200 million doses of vaccine - what about London?

The EU had accused Great Britain of blocking vaccine exports and, among other reasons, introduced its own export control mechanism. The trigger was a drastic reduction in the promised delivery volume to the EU by the British-Swedish manufacturer AstraZeneca. However, Great Britain was hardly affected by the bottleneck. The EU has now initiated several legal proceedings against the company.

London rejected the allegation and accused the EU of practicing vaccination nationalism on its part. According to the EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen 200 million doses of vaccine had been exported from the EU by the beginning of May. According to March figures, the UK was the largest importer of vaccines from the EU in the world. It is not known exactly whether and how many went in the other direction. According to information from Brüssel it was next to nothing.

The EU Commission is now officially conducting a second court case against AstraZeneca. According to a commission spokesman, the urgent procedure that is already in progress will be the main proceedings from September 24th on the precise legal examination of contractual obligations and possible violations.

The purpose of both procedures is the same, however: The EU wants to get AstraZeneca to deliver the vaccine doses that have been contractually agreed. Specifically, it is initially about 90 million doses of corona vaccine: The company delivered 30 million vaccine doses to the EU in the first quarter instead of the guaranteed 120 million. Ultimately, fines are conceivable, said the spokesman.