EU Tightens Vaccine Rules; Merkel Scraps Lockdown: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — The European Union will give itself stronger powers to stop Covid vaccine exports, setting the stage for an escalation of tensions with allies and manufacturers as it faces a third wave of infections.Poland reported record new cases, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel dropped plans for a strict Easter lockdown. Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi called on allies across Europe to guarantee “strategic autonomy” by forging a vaccine production chain across the continent.BioNTech SE said it initiated an investigation following issues with the packaging material for vaccine vials that led Hong Kong and Macau to suspend immunizations with the company’s shots. Meantime, Singapore will relax measures to allow more people to return to offices and permit larger gatherings.Key Developments:Global Tracker: Cases pass 124 million; deaths exceed 2.73 millionVaccine Tracker: More than 468 million shots given worldwideBiden uses Trump’s ‘America first’ vaccine plan to corner marketBuilding a covid travel passport is a serious tech challengeVaccinating some of world’s remotest communities tests Australia‘Too many questions’: Decades of mistrust spur vaccine hesitancySubscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on cases and deaths.EU Tightens Vaccine Export Rules (7:50 a.m. NY)The EU will give itself stronger powers to stop Covid vaccine