Despite Supply Issues: EU to Export 100 Million Doses COVID Vaccine

Despite Supply Issues: EU to Export 100 Million Doses COVID Vaccine

Despite apparent supply issues in recent months, the European Union (EU) has approved the export of 100 million Corona vaccine doses to Japan.

The export permits were “a strong sign” that the EU “supports the preparations for the Olympic Games,” said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

With the 100 million vaccine doses, around 40 per cent of the Japanese population could be vaccinated, according to von der Leyen in a video conference with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and EU Council President Charles Michel.

Von der Leyen could not say how many of the 100 million vaccine doses have already been exported, as the EU had no information on the pharmaceutical companies’ delivery schedules.

A Commission spokeswoman specified that the number of over 100 million cans relates to the time since the introduction of export controls by the EU at the end of January. “The pharmaceutical companies are responsible for the deliveries,” she said. Usually, however, these took place “a few weeks later” after the export permit.

In Japan, only two per cent of the 125 million people are fully vaccinated so far. Recently, criticism of the slow vaccination campaign has been louder in the Asian country – also because the Summer Olympics in Tokyo is scheduled to start in two months. The games in Japan’s capital will be held from July 23rd to August 8th under the strictest hygiene and corona rules.

Moreover, a “green alliance” was also agreed upon at the top-level talks between the EU representatives and the Japanese Prime Minister. This is intended to intensify the fight against climate change and environmental degradation.

Japan was one of the first countries to commit to climate neutrality by 2050 and, like the EU, is very committed to long-term goals, explained von der Leyen. That’s why they want to work much more closely together on this topic in the future. Michel said there should be more cooperation in preparing for the energy transition, in economic issues and in regulatory cooperation.

Image by Pietro Naj-Oleari /wikimedia (CC-BY-4.0)

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