By Ahmed Rahma Amid frustration over delays in the delivery of AstraZeneca\u2019s COVID-19 shot and other supply problems, the European Union (EU) has proposed the setting up of a register of vaccine exports. On Tuesday, the Health Minister of Germany, Mr Jens Spahn, said he supports the proposal to introduce restrictions on COVID-19 vaccines. This comes as tensions grew with AstraZeneca and Pfizer over sudden supply cuts just a month after the bloc started vaccinating citizens. Speaking, the minister said, \u201cI can understand that there are production problems but then it must affect everyone in the same way. \u201cThis is not about Europe first but about Europe\u2019s fair share, therefore, made sense to have export limits on vaccines.\u201d But Mr Spahn said it was encouraging that the number of new coronavirus cases was falling in Germany and that if that trend continues, a decision can be taken on future restrictions, adding that schools and nurseries would be the first places to re-open. AstraZeneca had informed the 27-country EU last Friday that it could not meet supply targets for its vaccine up to the end of March, a further blow to the bloc\u2019s pandemic efforts after Pfizer announced a temporary slowdown in supplies in January. It also said on Monday that its Chief Executive had informed the EU it was doing everything it can to bring the vaccine to millions of Europeans as soon as possible. An EU official declared that AstraZeneca had received an upfront payment of \u20ac336 million ($408 million) when the EU sealed a deal with the company in August 2020 for at least 300 million doses and an option for another 100 million. The deal was the first signed by the bloc to secure COVID-19 shots. That was after the United States in May secured 300 million doses for up to $1.2 billion, and Britain, also in May, secured 100 million doses for \u00a384 million ($114 million). Commenting, Britain\u2019s vaccine deployment minister, Mr Nadhim Zahawi,\u00a0 said although supplies were tight, he was confident Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Moderna would meet their commitments. \u201cAny new manufacturing process is going to have challenges, it is lumpy and bumpy, (then) it gets better, it stabilises and improves going forward,\u201d he stated.