The European Union will keep AstraZeneca doses within the bloc until the company has fulfilled its delivery commitments to the EU.
Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton spoke on Friday (March 26) during a visit to the Barcelona pharmaceutical plant.
"We will make sure that everything stays in Europe until the company will come back to its commitments. And this is why we have this instrument that the president of the Commission yesterday again put in place to make sure that we control and we don't have any leakage if I may say so."
On Wednesday (March 24) the EU tightened its oversight of coronavirus vaccine exports, giving it greater scope to block shipments to countries with higher inoculation rates such as Britain, or which are not sharing the doses they produce.
"We have now in Europe 52 factories. (...) They are working extremely hard. This will make our continent probably the first continent in terms of vaccine production by the end of this year, giving us a capacity to produce between two to three billion doses."
Breton also said Europe should have vaccinated enough people in the summer, possibly around mid-July, to achieve a "global immunity" level.