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Italy blocks export of Covid-19 vaccine doses to Australia

(27 Posts)
Blossoming Thu 04-Mar-21 19:31:09

This really looks petty, not to say petulant. Some EU countries are wasting unused AZ vaccines thanks to their own government’s scare stories, but it seems they don’t want anybody else to have them!

BlueSky Thu 04-Mar-21 19:42:15

If that’s the true story it’s appalling! angry

Urmstongran Thu 04-Mar-21 19:49:30

Are they wasting them though? I thought AZ was easily stored in an ordinary fridge until opened. What is the point in shipping it out when only 4% of your own population has been vaccinated?

Casdon Thu 04-Mar-21 19:52:22

Australia is gearing up its own Astra Zeneca production plant now, so they will be vaccinating with their own supplies shortly, which is good news. They will probably vaccinate the whole population before some countries in Europe are able to get their act together.
To be fair to Italy their COVID position is perilous again at the moment, and they don’t have the funds to go ‘off contract’ to buy like Germany and France have done? Have they actually approved the use of the AZ vaccine in over 65s yet there though, I haven’t heard?

diygran Thu 04-Mar-21 20:01:50

AZ news just today that Germany is now recommending it for over 65s.
Husband in UK at over 70 had AZ vaccine. I had Pfizer.

maddyone Thu 04-Mar-21 20:14:10

I don’t really understand what is going on here. Why is Italy blocking the export of the vaccine? I thought the AZ vaccine was unwanted in Italy, as it is in much of Europe.

Witzend Thu 04-Mar-21 20:24:35

It’s a bit late, since all the negative publicity has made people shun the AZ, but Macron and Merkel have both backtracked now and said it’s approved, even for the over 65s.

I still think that certainly in Macron’s case it was sour grapes, because the French vaccine they’d been relying on didn’t work - a great blow to French pride - though I believe they’re still working on it.

BlueSky Thu 04-Mar-21 20:49:56

“It’s a bit late, since all the negative publicity has made people shun the AZ, but Macron and Merkel have both backtracked now and said it’s approved, even for the over 65s.”
About time too Witzend! As I mentioned before my European friends have been appalled that I had the Oxford AZ and was more than happy with it!

Jaxjacky Thu 04-Mar-21 20:54:43

I think both Italy and France have shot themselves in the foot sadly, there was a high resistance by people to have any vaccination, the backtracking on AZ won’t have helped.

Cathymac Thu 04-Mar-21 20:57:24

Yes Bluesky. I have French friends who were amazed /appalled that my husband and myself were happy to have the AZ vaccination.

Urmstongran Thu 04-Mar-21 21:34:01

Macron, Merkel and Ursula vdL need to get on tv being immunised to encourage their citizens.

sodapop Thu 04-Mar-21 21:45:36

A lot of French people are appalled at the thought of having any Covid vaccine at all Cathymac

JenniferEccles Thu 04-Mar-21 22:28:16

Thank goodness we have gone our own way regarding the vaccine procurement.

Esspee Fri 05-Mar-21 07:38:05

Vaccine procurement is the only thing Boris’s government has got right in the last year.

BlueBelle Fri 05-Mar-21 07:42:57

espee totally agree and it’s been run by NHS not a private company
I heard on world radio today that U.K. is the most compliant country in the world for vaccination and France Japan and Singapore the most reluctant
I ve had Oxford Astro Zeneca and more than happy to have had it all the trails have made it equal to all others and above some does me fine

Spice101 Fri 05-Mar-21 07:53:49

Apparently the reason Italy is refusing to send the vaccine to Australia is because we don’t need it as much as other countries due to our low number of cases. The Az vaccine is about to be produced in Australia and it seems we have sufficient supplies to keep our vaccination program on track.

Lucca Fri 05-Mar-21 08:05:46

Ok I’m know I’m thick. Please can someone explain where Astra Zeneca comes from so that I can get how Italy has this power?

BlueSky Fri 05-Mar-21 08:28:58

Lucca I believe they’ve a plant producing the AZ vaccine.

Lucca Fri 05-Mar-21 08:32:54

But what nationality is the company ?

BlueSky Fri 05-Mar-21 08:39:26

Lucca US group Catalent.

NotSpaghetti Fri 05-Mar-21 09:07:48

This is not as clear cut as the British press would imply.

On Thursday, according to CNN, Italy's Foreign Ministry explained its decision in two parts:

Firstly, Astra Zeneca was ignoring its contract with the EU in order to supply Australia. As Australia isn’t considered “vulnerable” this was deemed sensible.

Secondly, Italy had authorized the company's export to Australia ^modest quantities of samples intended for scientific research activities^ but this export was flagged because it involved over 250,000 doses.

The statement from the Italian Foreign Ministry cited "the high number of vaccine doses subject to the export authorization request” (that being for research purposes) when compared to the amount of doses provided to Italy and, more generally, to all EU countries so far for ordinary use.

This second point - that what Astra Zeneca sent was not in line with the research request, is being overlooked in the media, presumably as it makes a better story without any nuance.

It seems to me that Astra Zeneca is keeping very quiet.

maddyone Fri 05-Mar-21 09:20:26

Italians made it clear they didn’t want the vaccine, they refused to take it. Let it go somewhere where they they do want it. It’s pointless it just sitting there in Italy unused because the Italians don’t want it.

Lillie Fri 05-Mar-21 09:28:46

Where is the co ordinated EU approach in all this? Every nation saying and doing something different.
Last night Castex said 20 million French people will hopefully have been vaccinated by mid May. The big rush is on.
Ironically the UK was at that figure in February and by mid May most of the higher groups here will have already had their second vaccine.

JenniferEccles Fri 05-Mar-21 09:37:11

I seem to remember reading that Astra Zeneca is a British/Swedish company Lucca

GrannyAnnie2010 Fri 05-Mar-21 10:16:17

BlueBelle, it comes as a huge surprise to me to read that the three most non-compliant countries include Japan and Singapore. Are you sure? Those two countries have the reputation of being the most disciplined and compliant, surely. Did you misunderstand, perhaps, or mishear?