UK vaccine success ‘got under skin’ of von der Leyen says expert
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The study found 26 percent of people in German said the European Commission President was the reason there were not enough jabs available across the bloc. The Brussels joint buy-up of Covid immunisations has left EU member states lagging far behind Britain’s vaccination drive. More than 30 million people in the UK have now received their first Covid-19 vaccine – over half the adult population.
In comparison, Germany has only a first dose to just 12 percent of its population – administering 12 million jabs in total.
But the opinion poll, carried out for the Welt Am Sonntag newspaper, found 29 percent of Germans placed blame at the feet of health minister Jens Spahn for the slow rollout.
And 14 percent said it was Chancellor Angela Merkel’s fault that Germany was lagging behind.
In the past week, pollsters Infratest Dimap spoke to 1,298 people to establish who was to blame for the country’s bungled pandemic response.
Just 15 percent answered “none of the three” and 16 percent had no opinion, the survey found.
With infections spreading like wildfire across Germany, participants called for Mrs Merkel and Mr Spahn to resign as a result of the misery.
More than half of respondents said the health minister should quit and 49 percent said the Chancellor should leave office early – she is due to step down after September’s national election.
France is also severely lagging behind Britain’s vaccine rollout, sparking threats of jabs blockades from President Emmanuel Macron.
Just 11.7 percent of French adults – 6.1 million – have received one or more Covid jabs, compared to 57 percent of UK adults who have received their first jab.
Mr Macron claimed France would catch up with our vaccination drive “in a few weeks”.
He said: “In a few weeks we will have completely caught up with the British, who will meanwhile be increasingly dependent on us to vaccinate their population.”
The French President appeared to make reference to AstraZeneca doses made in Europe that Brussels has threatened to block foreign exports of.
Eurocrats will stop jabs produced from the Anglo-Swedish pharma giant being sent abroad to countries with better vaccination rates than the EU because it believes the firm is not fulfilling its contract with the bloc.
On Friday, French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian suggested Britain would soon run out of supplies to deliver second doses because we have prioritised rolling out first doses to as many people as possible.
The minister suggested Britain would attempt to blackmail Brussels into helping beat any shortfall in supplies.
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Top eurocrat Thierry Breton hit out at AstraZeneca for only delivering 30 percent of its promised amount of jabs to member states.
“As long as AstraZeneca has not fulfilled its obligations, everything that it produces inside the EU will be given to Europeans.
“If there is a surplus, then it will go elsewhere.”
Asked whether Brexit had been the catalyst behind Britain’s vaccine success, the EU’s internal market commissioner responded: “I can understand why people are using this incredibly difficult period to justify their own choices, such as Brexit.
“The British depend on the European Union for their vaccination strategy.
“The British are incapable of rolling our their vaccination drive on their own.
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Oliver Dowden insists UK will have access to second vaccine dose
“Now we see the problem for the British is the second dose.”
But Culture Secretary this weekend rebuked the claims made by Brussels that Britain will not meet its target delivering second doses to people within 12 weeks of their first.
He said: “We’ve been planning that all the way through.
“It’s one of the most important considerations as we’ve rolled out the vaccine.
“You will have seen the ups and downs – we were surging ahead a couple of weeks ago, there’s been a bit of a slowdown now.
“But that doesn’t undermine our confidence that we will be able to deliver for that crucial group, the over-50s, by the middle of April and then for the rest of the adult population by the end of July.”
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