Italy 'stops' Oxford vaccine supply to Australia

The Italian government has blocked a vaccine shipment to Australia. This was done because it accuses AstraZeneca of stop supplying enough to EU nations.

Italy blocks vaccine shipment to Australia 

The Italian authorities have stopped the shipment of AstraZeneca vaccines to Australia. This blockage affects more than 300,000 doses of the vaccine which was developed at their facility in Italy.

Italy becomes the first European nation to use the new policy which gives countries power to block vaccine shipment if they haven't adhered to the supply demands of the EU. The European Union has supported the move by Italy saying it is the best decision at this critical time. AstraZeneca pharmaceutical firm will soon meet a 40% agreement it agreed with the EU block nations to distribute the vaccine in the next four months. 

AstraZeneca blames production hiccups for supply shortages 

However, there have been problems with delivery, and the firm has blamed production in its European plant. In January, Italy PM, Conte, said the delays by these pharmaceutical firms were 'sad and unacceptable because it goes against their contracts.

Although Italy has not stated the seizure, it had last month requested authorization from the EU that it could block any shipment outside the EU that has more than 200 supplies. EU and other bloc members have been positive about the news saying the pharmaceutical firm owes it an obligation to satisfy them before sending them to other nations. 

While sympathizing with Australia, European nations say contracts must be respected. The EU has been the worst hit of the coronavirus pandemic. It has over 30 million infections with thousands of casualties. European nations have invested billions of dollars into vaccine development, they believe they need to be satisfied first before other nations. Oxford-AstraZeneca firm has promised to increase its production rate, to be able to satisfy all parties.