EU uses export ban for first time on COVID-19 shots leaving Italy Mar 05, 2021 0 443 12345 dpaBrussels The European Union used its COVID-19 vaccine export ban for the first time to halt 250,000 AstraZeneca shots leaving Italy for Australia, EU sources told dpa on Thursday, confirming a Financial Times report.The bloc set up a register keeping track of vaccine exports in January amid a row with AstraZeneca about whether the British-Swedish vaccine producer was fulfilling its contractual obligations with the EU.The mechanism allows national authorities, in consultation with the European Commission, to block exports headed out of the EU if the bloc believes a firm is not honouring their agreements.Unlike other COVID-19 shot producers Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, AstraZeneca has not yet delivered the doses it promised the EU. The company slashed first-quarter projected deliveries from 80 million to 40 million doses, citing production difficulties.There was suspicion that vaccines produced in the EU were being sold to countries outside the bloc, leading to the creation of the export register.Several outward shipments of vaccines produced in the EU have been given the OK since the system was set up.The EU was criticised heavily for the initiative at the time, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) warning that the world’s poorest countries stand to suffer the most if vaccines are hoarded by wealthy countries.Developing countries and a number of EU partner countries are excluded from the mechanism.EU governments are under great pressure as they lag behind vaccination race front-runners like Israel and Britain.The commission, which negotiated with pharmaceutical firms to procure vaccines on behalf of the member states, has also come under fire for its strategy in recent weeks. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES US House passes police reforms sparked by death of George Floyd Mar 05, 2021 0 727 Germany OKs AstraZeneca jab as govt vows vaccine, testing boost Mar 05, 2021 0 41 US House cancels Thursday session after police warn of Capitol plot Mar 05, 2021 0 42 Powerful quake shakes New Zealand cities; tsunami warning lifted dpa Wellington A powerful earthquake measured at a magnitude of over 7 has struck off the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, shaking residents as far away as Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. A tsunami .. UN report finds 17% of food worldwide is thrown away dpa New York Around 17 percent of all food for human consumption was thrown away in 2019, according to a UN report released on Thursday. Homes, restaurants, stores and other food providers discarded 931 million tons of .. Canadian court finds Toronto van attacker guilty on all charges dpa Montreal A Canadian court has found the man responsible for a 2018 van attack in Toronto that killed 10 people and injured scores of others guilty of all charges, dismissing his laywers’ argument that his autism .. Joe Biden makes promoting democracy worldwide a priority dpa Washington US President Joe Biden declared the promotion of democracy worldwide to be a central component of his national security strategy in new guidelines released on Wednesday. “Authoritarianism is on the ..