Susanna Reid says EU vaccine row is ‘unseemly’
The EU is currently embroiled in a vaccine fiasco, as the bloc faces a severe shortage in supplies of the jab and is falling further and further behind on its target to inoculate 70 percent of all adults in the bloc by the summer. If the current rate of vaccination persists, the EU would only have vaccinated 15 percent of the bloc’s population by the end of September.
The EU’s efforts to ramp up testing have been severely hampered by the news Covid vaccine maker AstraZeneca will be unable to fulfill demand to the EU for several weeks.
They said production delays at plants in the Netherlands and Belgium were to blame.
The British-Swedish pharmaceutical firm is understood to have offered the EU 60 percent fewer doses, about 50 million jabs, than initially promised.
The news of the shortage has prompted a bitter row between the EU and AstraZenca, as both sides are quick to blame the other for the fiasco.
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AstraZeneca said it was falling behind because the EU had signed a contract with the company three months after the UK signed a deal.
This meant there was less time for the firm to iron out problems with distribution and other technical issues.
But Brussels has reacted furiously to the news, and said Astrazeneca must honour its commitments and suggested it do so by diverting stock from the UK.
The bloc is also facing delays from Pfizer/BioNTech, another manufacture of the Covid vaccine.
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The firm has not been able to supply the 12.5 million vaccines it promised to the EU by the end of 2020 and said it had to delay shipments for the next few weeks because of work to increase capacity at its Belgian processing plant.
The EU is now facing a huge shortage in vaccines, as the bloc attempts to co-ordinate its bloc-wide approach to distributing the jabs.
Brussels has threatened to restrict the exports of vaccines made within the bloc, which includes the Pfizer vaccine, to deal with the shortfall.
If the EU makes good on its threat, the UK’s vaccination efforts could be severely hampered as millions await the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
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As a result, Express.co.uk is asking its readers if you think Boris Johnson should retaliate if the EU does ban vaccine exports.
The website is asking if EU fishermen should be banned from UK waters if Brussels blocks Covid vaccines?
German MEP Peter Liese has suggested the export ban is a very real threat, and could be enacted by Brussels.
He told German broadcaster N-TV: “If we are not treated fairly, we must also impose an export ban.
“Then the UK will no longer get the BioNtech Pfizer vaccine.
“Nobody wants a vaccination war. But the EU has more leverage here.”
It is not the first time a threat has been issued by Brussels, with EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides warning the bloc would “take any action required to protect its citizens”.
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