(Image: ABACA Press/Robin Utrecht)

Australia risks becoming collateral damage as the simmering EU vaccine war escalated dramatically overnight amid claims Europe is facing the “crisis of the century”.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen threated to seize AstraZeneca factories and even strip the company of its intellectual property rights in an effort to prevent more vaccines being exported.

With the EU facing a third wave of COVID-19 and struggling to vaccinate its 450 million citizens, she warned overnight that “everything is on the table".