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The Italian government has blocked the export of an Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine shipment to Australia.
The decision affects 250,000 doses of the vaccine produced at an AstraZeneca facility in Italy.
Italy is the first EU country to use the bloc’s new regulations allowing exports to be stopped if the company providing the vaccines has failed to meet its obligations to the EU.
The move has been backed by the European Commission, reports say.
AstraZeneca is on track to provide only 40% of the agreed supply to member states in the first three months of the year. It has cited production problems for the shortfall.
In January, then Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte described delays in vaccine supplies by both AstraZeneca and Pfizer as “unacceptable” and accused the companies of violating their contracts…
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CNBC added today that “in January, the European Union placed temporary controls on the export of vaccines made inside the bloc, following a spat with British pharma giant AstraZeneca and wider supply issues.”