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Italy and the European Union have blocked a shipment of the coronavirus vaccine Oxford-AstraZeneca destined for Australia, which is destined for Australia

It is understood that AstraZeneca asked the Italian government to provide 250Exporting 000 cans from its Anagni plant near Rome to Australia

An EU official confirmed to ABC that Italy had refused the export permit and the decision was supported by the European Commission

The ban is believed to be the first time Europe has stopped supplying vaccines to a non-EU country after tightening its rules on vaccine exports in January to ensure its own supply

As part of the temporary measures, any company based in the EU that exports vaccines must first submit its plans to national authorities

Italy’s Foreign Ministry said the decision to refuse the shipment was made because Australia was “not at risk” due to the low number of COVID-19 cases in the country and the lack of vaccines in Italy and the EU

An EU spokesman said the EU delegation in Australia had “contacted Brussels on the matter and it would be inappropriate to make any further comments at this point”

In a statement, a health minister spokesman Greg Hunt said the shipment, which has already arrived in Australia, would “get us through” by the end of the month

“Domestic production starts with 1 million deliveries per week from the end of March and is proceeding according to plan”

Treasury Secretary Simon Birmingham told Sky News that the government had asked the EU for assurances that future deliveries would not be blocked

“This was about making sure we built in contingent liabilities for the likelihood of something going wrong

“The world is currently on uncharted territory Unsurprisingly, some countries would tear up the rulebook That is why we have chosen these very cautious approaches “

Tell us about yourself and we will tell you where you are in the queue for the COVID-19 surge

Tensions arise between Europe and AstraZeneca after the latter failed to meet the delivery targets set in their contract with the EU

In January, AstraZeneca reduced its deliveries to the EU in the first quarter from 90 million in the contract to 40 million cans and later informed EU states that deliveries would be cut by a further 50 percent in the second quarter

The company later said it was aiming to deliver missing cans for the second quarter from outside Europe

The first 300000 doses of the Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccine arrived in Sydney by plane on Sunday The rollout is slated to begin in Adelaide on Friday after being batch tested by the Therapeutic Goods Administration

Australia has secured 538 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, 38 million of which are manufactured overseas

The remaining 50 million doses are made in Australia in monthly doses by medical giant CSL

Italy, one of the European countries hardest hit by the coronavirus, is under increasing pressure with only about 4 to vaccinate its aging population8 million of more than 60 million people have received their first recordings so far

On Thursday, the country reported Jan.865 new cases of COVID-19 and an additional 339 deaths from the virus, bringing the death toll to just under 100000 people increased

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, who took office last month, told other EU leaders earlier this week that the bloc would have to speed up vaccinations and take action against pharmaceutical companies that failed to deliver promised

Mr Draghi and his government have made vaccination a “high priority,” epidemiology-economics expert Aditya Goenka told ABC

“How can you balance public health in your own country with the fulfillment of your commitments? This is a complex problem that in this case has evolved on its own”he said

“I don’t think this will be the last case we’ll see I think we’ll likely see more cases of this type in the future”

We recognize the Aboriginal people and the Torres Strait Islander as the first Australians and traditional administrators of the countries where we live, learn and work

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World News – AU – Government says Italy and the EU’s blockade of vaccine supplies to Australia is “disappointing and frustrating” but does not affect adoption