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Coronavirus

EU Threatens AstraZeneca with Export Ban

BERLIN — The European Union’s executive arm is increasing its pressure on pharmaceutical companies to speed up their vaccine delivery to the continent as virus numbers are rising again in many member countries.

The European Commission says AstraZeneca in particular could face export bans to countries outside the EU if it didn’t quickly deliver the promised amount of vaccines to the 27-nation bloc.

“We have the possibility to ban planned exports,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Saturday in an interview with German media group Funke.

She said the commission had sent a “formal reminder” to AstraZeneca.

AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine is one of three vaccines that’s approved in the EU. However, its usage has been overshadowed by several problems, including a slow start, recurring delivery problems and a temporary ban for several days earlier this week in many of the bloc’s member countries after reports of blood clots in some recipients of the vaccine.

Most countries in the EU resumed giving shots of AstraZeneca again Friday as infection numbers were spiking again across the continent.

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