At the beginning of the week before a hope opened for the world, after the pharmaceutical company Pfizer and BionTech announced that their vaccine which is in the third phase provides protection of more than 90%.
Markets shot up, oil rallied, currencies strengthened, and after many months of unrest, moments of optimism are lived.
However, There are still many doubts and victory cannot be claimed, taking into account the challenges related to its eventual distribution, the handling of logistics to guarantee the storage temperature of -70º and now it seems that Brexit could be an obstacle.
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As of January 1, the trade and customs terms between the European Union and the Government of Boris Johnson change, which may have an effect on the development of the antidote on which all humanity has its eyes. Why?
UK-based chemical company Croda International signed an agreement with labs Pfizer and Biontech for the manufacture of an essential chemical compound to manufacture the vaccine that aims to put an end to the pandemic that, for almost a year, has put health systems and the world’s economies in check.
In a statement to the British channel Sky News, the CEO of Croda, Steve Foots, warned that if an agreement between the European Union and the United Kingdom is not reached, before January 31, there is a risk that barriers will be raised between these economies, which would seriously jeopardize the supply of goods that, of course, include the elements necessary for the manufacture of the vaccine compound and its eventual entry into the United Kingdom.
Avoiding the disruption of the Brexit border will be a crucial step in ensuring that the vaccine be available to millions of people, “the Corda executive told Sky News.
For this reason, Croda called on the UK authorities to avoid possible customs barriers that could put the supply of the vaccine at risk.
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It should be noted that this English chemist reached an agreement with Pfizer for 85 million euros to supply the chemical compound and is developing a robust distribution chain. The 5-year contract provides for the delivery of compounds for the manufacture of 1,300 million doses in a year, hence their concern about the possible consequences that Brexit could bring.
“Concern is the last thing we need, there is a problem with the lack of an agreement, and there are frictions at the borders, but I am sure that the UK Government is very aware of this,” explained the manager.
And everything seems to indicate that Croda’s concern is sustained, since the Secretary of Commerce, Alok Sharma, explained that there is the possibility that there may be effects on the supply of raw materials for the vaccine and for the distribution of the same vaccine due to customs changes at the border.
“This is a problem in many sectors, but that is precisely why we have been investing in subsidies for customs intermediaries,” said Sharma, adding that they are in contact with companies to prepare for this transition..