EU Accused Of Being A ‘Disgrace’ And A ‘Bully’ After Blocking Scheduled Vaccine Exports To Australia
The Italian government yesterday made use of a controversial new EU law that was passed after AstraZeneca had said they would be cutting the original amount of doses being sent to EU countries in the first quarter of 2021, and, as a result, a scheduled shipment of 250,000 doses of their vaccine was blocked from being exported to Australia.
Officials in Rome had asked Brussels to implement the new law in the case of this export, which they did, with part of Italy’s argument being that Australia is not a high-risk country, compared to European states.
Matthew Lesh, the Head of Research at the conservative Adam Smith Institute, speaking with News.com,au, said, “The decision by Italy and the European Union to block vaccine exports to Australia is a total disgrace. A very clear demonstration of closed, self-interested and nationalistic behaviour. The world should not tolerate this bullying”.
He added, “Australia isn’t responsible for the European Union’s failure to secure enough doses or vaccinate across her population, Australia’s most vulnerable shouldn’t have to bear the consequences”.
Professor Allen Cheng, the Victorian Deputy Chief Health Officer, commented to 3AW, “This just reinforces how lucky we are to have local production. It may not come in exactly when we expect it, but it is coming”.
Adding, “We do not know when more doses will arrive in the country but there are some Astrazenca doses in South Australia that will start being administered today. We have more vaccine than our capacity to deliver it at the moment”.
Australia has secured 20 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine, with around 440,000 already in the country, and 54million AstraZeneca doses from overseas and local suppliers.
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