Anorak News | EU moves to seize production from British built Covid-19 vaccine factory

EU moves to seize production from British built Covid-19 vaccine factory

by | 2nd, April 2021

British money paid for the vaccine centre sited in the EU zone. The Times leads with news in light of the EU’s threat to block four million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine produced at a Dutch factory run by Halix, a subcontractor. The Telegraph:

British taxpayers have invested millions of pounds into a Dutch vaccine factory at the centre of a threatened blockade by the European Commission, The Telegraph can disclose.

The Halix factory in Leiden was equipped to produce doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine after Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, approved a major investment last April. The money – reported to be in the region of £21 million


But Thierry Breton, the EU’s internal market commissioner, warned that “zero” jabs would be sent to the UK until AstraZeneca had fulfilled its commitments to Brussels, even after Germany suspended routine use of the AstraZeneca vaccine for people aged below 60 because of fears of rare blood clots.

“If [AstraZeneca] does more, we don’t have any issue, but as long as it doesn’t deliver its commitment to us, the doses stay in Europe,” Mr Breton said. “There is no negotiation.”

How did it come to this? Why did the UK fund a factory in The Netherlands?

Sir John Bell, regius professor of medicine at Oxford, tells the Times:

“The government has been completely disinterested in building onshore manufacturing capacity for any of the life-sciences products,” he added. “I’m not talking about this government, I’m talking about all governments for the last ten years. And it turns out that manufacturing is a strategic asset for health security when stuff gets tough, which it is now.”

So much for being world leaders in tech.

Posted: 2nd, April 2021 | In: Broadsheets, News Comment | TrackBack | Permalink