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AstraZeneca ‘has to catch up’ says Ursula von der Leyen
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While the continent experiencing a third wave of the virus and multiple states struggling with their own vaccination programmes, Ms von der Leyen claimed the EU’s vaccine rollout is speeding up across the bloc. Although Ms von der Leyen praised the stuttering programme, many took to social media to criticise the picture posted by the Commission chief. Tristan Seaton said: “It’s just a bit pathetic. Money was paid to make those, however little.
“VDL’s photo ops must consume the energy of a small country each year.”
A second said: “The damage she has personally done to the rollout is incalculable.
“She chastised EU governments for nationalism and took over vax procurement only to steer it straight onto the rocks.
“To disguise her incompetence she threatened legal against AZ. It never happened.”
A third said: “If that plaster has been supplied under an EU contract it will probably fall off in another 5 minutes.”
Another said: “Is she trying to advertise being slow as a good thing?”
Although vaccine supplies have begun to recover, the EU has still floundered with its procurement programme.
As reported by the Our World in Data, the UK is recording 57.49 vaccines per 100 people as of April 13.
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Despite Ms von der Leyen’s praise for the vaccine programme, Germany and France are recording rates of 22.97 and 22.52 per 100 people respectively, as of April 13.
Receiving her jab, however, Ms von der Leyen said: “After we passed 100 million vaccinations in the EU, I’m very glad I got my first shot of COVID19 vaccine today.
“Vaccinations will further gather pace, as deliveries are accelerating in the EU.
“The swifter we vaccinate, the sooner we can control the pandemic.”
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As Ms von der Leyen insists the bloc must vaccinate swiftly, months behind the UK, several EU states have been forced to adopt stricter lockdown measures.
In France, new restrictions were rolled out across the country while Germany too went into a third lockdown.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned case numbers are too high while the third wave of the virus may be the worst.
She said on Monday: “The number of infections is currently far too high.
“The use of intensive care units in our hospitals is increasing again and we have to say that this third wave might turn out to be the toughest for us.
“And to break it, of course, the most important weapon we have is the vaccine.”
With states struggling with the virus, countries such as Hungary have moved to use the Russian and Chinese vaccines in order to stop the third wave of infections.
Germany too is now looking at the Russian vaccine which has not yet been approved by the European Medicines Agency.
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