Covid: What’s the problem with the EU vaccine rollout?

2 月 2, 2021World News

How does the EU vaccine scheme work?

The scheme, set up in June 2020, allows the EU to negotiate the purchase of vaccines on behalf of its member states. It says this can help reduce costs and avoid competition between them.

Member states do not have to join the scheme, but all 27 EU countries chose to do so.

They are still allowed to make separate deals with vaccine makers which the EU does not have an agreement with. Hungary has agreed to buy two million doses of the Russian Sputnik-V vaccine.

What is the row over the AstraZeneca vaccine?

The Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was approved for use in the EU on 29 January.

The EU signed a deal for 300 million doses in August, while the UK ordered 100 million doses and signed its deal in May.

But supply problems have been announced by AstraZeneca, which blamed manufacturing problems on one plant in Belgium and another in the Netherlands.

Reports suggested deliveries would be reduced to 31 million – a cut of 60% – in the first quarter of 2021.

This prompted criticism from the EU which says it should not receive fewer doses just because the UK signed a contract earlier and said AstraZeneca’s UK plants “had to deliver”.

AstraZeneca said the fact that EU contracts were signed later left less time to resolve problems in the EU supply chain.



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