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EU export restrictions on COVID-19 vaccines may jeopardise global supply

Medicines New Zealand, the industry association representing companies involved in the research, development and manufacture of modern medicines and vaccines, is extremely concerned over the reports that the European Union (EU) via the European Commission has introduced export restrictions for COVID-19 vaccines. 

“Medicines New Zealand understands any Government’s need to have access to COVID-19 vaccines in as short a timeframe as possible for its people. However we are getting increasingly worried that the measures proposed by the EU and its member states could be highly disruptive and impact the biopharmaceutical industry’s efforts to have billions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine available to the world in record time” said Dr Graeme Jarvis, CEO of Medicines New Zealand.

The industry association believes that keeping supply chains open is the top priority to allow the world’s population to access COVID-19 vaccines in a timely fashion. Any export restrictions threaten to not only disrupt the export of vaccines but also the importation of critical COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing components and ingredients, especially if retaliatory steps are taken by countries or regions globally.  

“Anything that interferes with global supply chains of either these novel COVID-19 vaccines or the ingredients and supplies used to manufacture them would completely undermine the collaborative efforts between the biopharmaceutical industry and Governments at a time when we are trying to work together to combat COVID-19” said Dr Jarvis.

The industry association and its members stand united with not only the New Zealand Government, but also any other Government or organisation that views ‘vaccine nationalism’ as a significant threat to the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines to all countries that need them. 

“The biopharmaceutical industry is working hard to make sure that all COVID-19 vaccine supply arrangements are met, but vaccine nationalism including export bans is something that the sector cannot control, and its potential impact is significant" said Dr Jarvis.


For global statements see EFPIA statement here and IFPMA statement here.

Medicines New Zealand is the industry group representing biopharmaceutical companies operating in New Zealand. We advocate for the benefits of modern medicines and vaccines as part of a high-quality public health system.

Kristen Edwards, Communications Advisor, Medicines New Zealand.
Ph: 027 534 6461