Brussels, Belgium | Xinhua | The European Union will not renew its mandatory approval system for COVID-19 vaccine exports when it expires at the end of the year, the European Commission said on Friday.
This means that vaccine producers will no longer have to request authorization to export vaccines outside the EU.
The export authorization mechanism will be replaced from Jan. 1, 2022 with a “new monitoring mechanism that will provide the Commission with timely, company-specific, vaccine export data.”
The Commission said the decision is part of the EU’s effort to ensure rapid production, and wide and equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines that the world urgently needs.
“The EU is the biggest global provider of COVID-19 vaccines, with over 1.3 billion doses exported so far, more than half of its production,” the Commission said. “The EU will also donate at least 500 million doses to the most vulnerable countries over the next few months.”
The 27-nation bloc has fully vaccinated 68 percent of its population of 445 million, and has ample stocks for booster campaigns. Such campaigns have already started in several member states.
“With new outbreaks of the virus in the EU and the risk of new variants of the COVID-19 virus, there is still a need for transparency of exports of vaccines, which the EU will continue to do under the new monitoring mechanism,” the Commission emphasized.