Pharmaceutical AstraZeneca has so far delivered less than 10 percent of the number of corona vaccines promised to the European Union, says European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen, Monday.

According to insiders, the Commission initially expected up to 120 million doses of AstraZeneca between December and the end of March.

The British-Swedish vaccine maker says it is facing production problems in the EU.

"But we had already agreed before the approval by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) that they would stock up," says von der Leyen.

In an interview with international media, including the

ANP

news agency

, von der Leyen said that the EU will continue to block the export of vaccines as long as the pharmaceutical company does not deliver enough.

"AstraZeneca must increase its efforts. Otherwise we cannot allow exports."

According to her, vaccines have already been exported from the EU to more than thirty countries outside Europe.

"This is mainly thanks to Pfizer / BioNTech. It adheres to the contracts," said von der Leyen.

Quarter of a million vaccines exports to Australia halted

For Italy, the measure was full last week when it turned out that the country would receive less than 10 percent of the British-Swedish company in the first quarter than foreseen.

The government therefore blocked the export of a batch of 250,000 corona vaccines from AstraZeneca destined for Australia.

It was the first time that this weapon was used.

"I directly supported Prime Minister Draghi's decision," said von der Leyen, who indicates that, if necessary, this will not be the last.

In the Netherlands, less than a tenth of what was promised has so far been delivered.

Meanwhile, AstraZeneca has committed to supplying vaccines in the EU for the second quarter that are produced outside Europe.

In total, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Moderna, the three companies whose corona vaccine is currently used by the EU, have now delivered at least 56.8 million doses to the EU.