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The Explainer: Why is there talk of an EU-UK 'vaccine war'?

What’s going on? We take a look in this week’s episode.

THE ROLLING OUT of vaccines across the world hasn’t been without its complications. 

Here in Ireland, we’ve been watching as other countries’ rollouts moved much faster than ours (to date, 10% of the population have had their first dose of a vaccine).

Meanwhile, the UK had rolled out vaccination before us. But in recent weeks, the UK and the EU have reached loggerheads over the vaccine issue. While 10m doses of vaccines were exported to the UK from the EU, the UK hasn’t exported any doses to the EU since January.

Earlier today, it reached the point where the European Union was reported to be about to present new rules that could cut exports to Britain and other countries, in order to curb vaccine supply shortages in the EU.

Though the UK doesn’t have an export ban in place itself, it did sign an agreement with AstraZeneca that means it will get doses produced in Oxford and Staffordshire first.

But by this evening, a joint EU and UK statement was issued that stated that the third wave of Covid-19 “makes cooperation between the EU and UK even more important”.

They said they were now discussing “what more we can do to ensure a reciprocally beneficial relationship between the UK and EU on Covid-19″.

So why is this all happening – and what does it mean?

To explain more, our reporters Gráinne Ní Aodha and Michelle Hennessy speak to presenter Sinéad O’Carroll on this week’s podcast. 

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Source: The Explainer/SoundCloud

This episode was put together by presenter Sinéad O’Carroll, producers Aoife Barry and Nicky Ryan. Guests were reporters Michelle Hennessy and Gráinne Ni Aodha.

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