The Italian prime minister has urged the European Union to ‘suffocate’ vaccine manufacturers.
Italy imposed the first EU-sanctioned export ban on vaccines yesterday when it blocked 250,000 Oxford AstraZeneca jabs from being exported to Australia.
Italy’s prime minister Mario Draghi told Ursula von der Leyen that it was necessary to ‘suffocate’ vaccine makers to force them to meet contractual obligations amid a row over supplies from AstraZeneca.
Formed Brexit Secretary David Davis called the blockade ‘disgraceful behaviour’ last night. He told the Telegraph ‘it comes at the end of a period where it took them a long time to approve the vaccine, then some of their leaders questioned the value of the vaccine, and it looks likely they wasted the vaccine as a result of an uptake shortfall.
‘And now this. I’m afraid the EU is putting at risk the goodwill of the rest of the world. It is disgraceful behaviour and sad, really, because they are our friends and allies.’
Meanwhile, French prime minister Jean Castex admitted the AstraZeneca jab was ‘very efficient’ – a total contradiction of Emmanuel Macron’s claim it was only ‘quasi-effective’ in elderly patients.