EU threatens to halt COVID vaccine exports as Canada prepares for big deliveries

OTTAWA – The European Union is again threatening to halt exports of COVID-19 vaccines to other countries, at a time when Canada is set to see a huge influx of doses with record deliveries coming next week. EU threatens to halt COVID vaccine exports as Canada prepares for big deliveries.

A third wave of the Covid virus is breaking out in the Euro zone. As the EU faces a third wave of this pandemic, and production disruptions and fears around blood clots with the AstraZeneca vaccine are causing shortages, the head of the EU is once again talking about preventing deliveries outside that region.

Crisis of the century

Ursula von der Leyen says this is the crisis of the century and they will have to reflect on the exports to other countries.

“AstraZeneca has unfortunately under-produced and under-delivered, and this painfully, of course, reduced the speed of the vaccination campaign,” von der Leyen told reporters.

Two of Canada’s approved vaccines — the ones made by Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna — are produced in Europe.

This comes as Canada is expecting deliveries of  two million doses next week. Procurement Minister Anita Anand says Pfizer is set to deliver 1.2-million doses while Moderna is expected to deliver more than 800,000 doses.

What does this mean for Canada

Canada is receiving all 846,000 doses of Moderna next week – there is no reduction. That‘s totaling just over 2 million Moderna doses by the end of this quarter, as planned.

Canada is also in talks with the U.S. about vaccines as President Joe Biden says his government will open access to other countries when the American population is inoculated.

The U.S. has said Canada and Mexico are at the top of the list.

Canada’s vaccination efforts have ramped up in recent weeks after a slower than anticipated start. The country currently has four vaccines approved for emergency use, including those made by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson.

Several countries in Europe have suspended use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in recent days over reports of dangerous blood clots in some people who received the shot.

This comes despite the company, health officials, and international regulators saying there is no evidence to link the vaccine to these conditions.