Amid criticism that the EU planned to restrict offshore COVID vaccine shipments the EU now says it will make very limited use of export controls on the vaccine and that the EU has already approved a vaccine shipment to Canada.
A statement from an EU spokesperson reads, “Member states have handled these requests very swiftly and these exports have been authorized in accordance with the opinion of the Commission. It proves that the system is working and that we will use it only in very limited cases.” The EU statement is in line with a similar statement made by Public Services and Procurement Minister Anita Anand gave at a COVID-19 news conference yesterday in which she said Canada would be getting its expected vaccine shipments from Europe this week.
“We have had conversations with our suppliers as recently as this morning and yesterday, who have assured us that the paperwork has been submitted, and that the shipments should be fine, for this week to leave the European Union,” Anand said. “We are expecting our shipments as a result, and all systems are a go for these shipments.” The minister said the shipment should leave Europe this week for Canada.
Prime Minister Trudeau had similar news in his Tuesday news conference “The conversations I had with the president of the European Commission were enough to reassure me, and should be enough to reassure all Canadians, that the European Union is extremely mindful that Canada’s contracts be respected, and that our supply of vaccines not be interfered with,” Trudeau said at his morning press conference.