Brexit Britain Helps Australia Source Vaccines After EU Seizes Doses: Report

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Brexit Britain has helped Australia source vaccines after the European Union backed Italy’s seizure of doses bound for Down Under.

The European Union’s efforts to manage its 27 member-states have worked out extremely badly, with vaccination rates far behind Britain — which was initially pilloried for its decision to manage vaccine procurement independent of the bloc — and countries such as Hungary forced to turn to Russia and even China in an effort to escape the fiasco.

One of the ways the EU is trying to get out of its mess has been to allow EU-made vaccines ordered by non-EU countries to be seized — at one point Brussels even said it would create a hard border between EU Ireland and British Northern Ireland to restrict vaccine movements, but quickly backed down amid the ensuing PR disaster — with its approval of Italy seizing a shipment of AstraZeneca doses bound for Australia being the first example of this policy in action.

The Commonwealth realm has reportedly been able to escape any serious ill effects as a result of the EU’s aggressive action as a result of Britain stepping in to source alternative AstraZeneca doses, however, according to a report by Sky News political editor Andrew Clennell.

The Australian government has attempted to be magnanimous towards the EU, describing its actions as “a demonstration of really how well Australia continues to do compared to the desperation of other countries.”

Finance minister Simon Birmingham could not resist indirectly chiding Brussels for “tear[ing] up the rulebook”, however.

Ironically, the EU’s seizure of Australia-bound doses comes as the bloc is appealing to U.S. President Joe Biden to save them from their vaccine woes by allowing the export of doses from the United States to the European Union.

So far, the Biden administration is maintaining the Donald Trump administration’s policy of requiring vaccine manufacturers to meet America’s domestic needs before making doses available for export.

“The President’s first priority is to make vaccines available for every American. The U.S. and EU have committed to deepening co-operation on pandemic response, including by enhancing public health capabilities and information sharing. We know that in order to beat this pandemic and to turn a corner on economic recovery, we must work with our allies and partners,” said a spokesman for Biden’s White House, somewhat equivocally.

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