EU, Italy stop AstraZeneca vaccine exports to Australia

BRUSSELS (AP) — A shipment of over a quarter million AstraZeneca vaccines destined for Australia has been blocked from leaving the European Union in the first use of an export control system instituted by the bloc to make sure big pharma companies would respect their contracts. The move, affecting only a small number of vaccines, underscores a growing frustration within the 27-nation bloc about the slow rollout of its vaccine drive and the shortfall of promised vaccine deliveries, especially by Anglo-Swedish AstraZeneca. The ban came at the behest of Italy and the EU did not raise objection to the tougher line from Rome.