MedWatch

EU vaccine rules may disrupt global supply, including to allies

The new export rules comes as the health outlook has dramatically worsened in Europe, with many of the biggest countries including Germany and France announcing new lockdowns.

Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP / AFP

The European Union’s closest neighbors, including countries in the Balkans and those that have special trading relationships with the bloc like Norway and Switzerland, will need authorization to import Covid vaccines from the EU under a proposal to be unveiled on Wednesday.

The plan, which will be made public in Brussels around midday, seeks to strengthen the EU’s existing export rules by insisting that nations that receive doses from the EU also send doses back. It will also consider a country’s vaccination rate and pandemic situation when deciding on whether to green light shipments. The mechanism won’t be automatic, but will be used on a case-by-case basis, according to officials familiar with the proposal.

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