The European Union, on Wednesday, reportedly threatened to completely ban coronavirus vaccine exports to the UK to make sure that there are enough doses for its own citizens, who are facing a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is jeopardizing plans to resume travel this summer.
With the total number of coronavirus deaths across the European Union exceeding 550,000 and just about a tenth of the population vaccinated across the bloc, the head of European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, stated that the epidemiological condition was worsening.
Leyen stated that the vaccine flow was very smooth in the U.S but vented out frustration over lack of vaccine deliveries from AstraZeneca in UK. In fact, 10 million vaccine doses had gone from EU-based plants to the former member state.
Leyen added further that if the situation remains the same, then the European Commission would have to contemplate upon how to make exports to other vaccine producing countries that are reliant on their level of openness.
In addition to the situation, numerous EU nations, which includes the largest members Italy, France, and Germany have suspended the administration of AstraZeneca vaccines this week because of pending safety checks.
The crisis also threatens earlier plans announced by the European Commission to introduce the “green digital certificate” that will gather information on tests, vaccinations, as well as COVID-19 recovery to allow travelers cross the borders with ease.
Southern European Union countries dependent on tourism as well as other proponents of the novel coronavirus certificate hope that it might win final approvals in June and would start online at right time for the peak season. However, countries such as Germany, France, and Belgium have doubts about it.
As per reports, EU countries would further be under immense pressure to agree upon a common position quickly for their 450 million citizens. The task is further complicated by uncertainties over whether those vaccinated could spread the virus, as well as public doubts regarding the vaccines.