Tuesday, 09 March 2021
The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen called out the coronavirus vaccine manufacturer AstraZeneca for delaying and reducing the deliveries of doses to the EU.
She urged the Swedish-British company, which is experiencing delays in the delivery of the 400 million doses ordered by the union, to give answers about what went wrong during an interview with several media organisations on Monday.
“We are tired of being the scapegoat. We are seeing that AstraZeneca is delivering less than 10% of what was originally planned for the first quarter for the EU. We expect [the company] to redouble its efforts to catch up,” von der Leyen said.
Until now, the EU expected to receive around 100 million vaccines from the company by now, of which the bloc only received 10 million, meaning there is a shortfall of about 90 million doses.
AstraZeneca must first increase the speed of the delivery of doses to the member states before it can export its products from Europe, von der Leyen warned.
This could result in the EU once again blocking international exports of deliveries outside the bloc as it did from Italy, where the export of a shipment of 250,000 AstraZeneca vaccines to Australia was stopped.
Starting from April, the EU expects to receive around 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccines per month, von der Leyen said on Monday.
Despite the significant delays in the rollout campaign, von der Leyen remains convinced that the target of vaccination 70% of European adults will be reached before the end of the summer, and said she will continue working on the ‘coronavirus vaccine’ to restore free movement within the EU.
The Brussels Times