EU ordered to back off on AstraZeneca to focus on cooperation – ‘Enough glitches already’

AstraZeneca: Expert says ‘we cannot afford any glitches’

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A pharmaceutical spokeswoman has called on the European Union to back off their attacks on AstraZeneca and focus on “cooperation” to get out of the pandemic. Speaking to Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis on Wednesday, Nathalie Moll, Director General of EFPIA, a European pharmaceutical trade body based in Brussels, said there were already enough “technical difficulties” with the vaccine rollout. She added no-one wanted “to create any man made glitches” to the chaos that’s already unfoldning and urged the EU to focus on “openness.”

The pharma chief called for the bloc to focus on “global cooperation” which she argued was “the key” to getting out of the pandemic.

She went on to reference a line published in the joint statement published by the UK and EU in regards to talks that aim to find a resolution to the vaccine blockade chaos the bloc is threatening.

She quoted: “The openness and global cooperation of all countries will be key to finally overcoming this pandemic and ensuring better preparedness.”

Ms Moll added while “we have the light at the end of the tunnel” it will require an “enormous scale up” from the EU.

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The pharmaceutical spokeswoman added that the last thing the crisis needs is any other “man-made glitches” from European Union officials.

She said: “There are enough technical difficulties to scale this up.

“We don’t want to create any other glitches today.”

She added that the scale of the vaccine crisis engulfing Europe “is enormous” and continued to call on the European Union to turn their focus away from AstraZeneca and focus on saving lives.

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The pharma chief’s comments come as the European Union continues its campaign to block vaccine exports to the U.K. despite 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Brussels to come to a deal on sharing jab doses instead of attempting to block exports of vaccinations to the UK.

Mr Johnson’s strict warning came as he said the EU’s aggressive behaviour risked “long-term damage” to the bloc by scaring business investment off.

British and EU officials were last night trying to cool the row and create a “win-win” agreement on sharing vaccines between the UK and the EU.

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European leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel were nervous about European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s approach as EU diplomats sought out a compromise.

But a Brussels summit of European leaders on Thursday is expected to agree on Ms von der Leyen’s proposals for emergency restrictions on Covid vaccines leaving the EU for nations like the UK who are charging ahead of the bloc with the rollout of jabs.

this is despite the British Government and EU last night issued a joint statement confirming that talks are underway to bring an end to the chaos.

The statement said: “We are all facing the same pandemic and the third wave makes cooperation between the EU and UK even more important…

“Given our interdependencies, we are working on specific steps we can take, in the short, medium and long term, to create a win-win situation and expand vaccine supply for all our citizens.

“In the end, openness and global cooperation of all countries will be key to finally overcoming this ­pandemic and ensuring better preparation for meeting future challenges. We will continue our discussions.” 

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