EU criticised over vaccine hoarding and prolonging the pandemic

WHO Chief calls EU measure a moral failure that will eventually lead to the pandemic lasting longer than it needs to be

Export control by the EU over Covid-19 vaccines could lead to the prolonging of the pandemic. [Photo: REUTERS]
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has voiced its criticism of the EU’s export controls on vaccines produced within the bloc, stating that such measures run the risk or prolonging the pandemic.

The European Union is introducing export controls on coronavirus vaccinations made in the bloc, amid a row about delivery shortfalls.

The mechanism grants EU countries the power to deny authorisation for vaccine exports if the company making them has not honoured existing contracts with the EU.

“The protection and safety of our citizens is a priority and the challenges we now face left us with no choice but to act,” the European Commission said.

The introduced measures will affect 100 countries – including the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada and Australia, however, many poorer nations are exempt from the controls.

The EU insists its controls are a temporary scheme, not an export ban.

But WHO vice-head Mariangela Simao said it was a “very worrying trend”.

And WHO Cheif Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that ‘vaccine nationalism’ could lead to a protracted recovery.

During a virtual version of the global summit, he stated that vaccines hoarding is a cataphoric moral failure that would lead to prolonging of the pandemic and a slow recovery of the economy worldwide.

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