Britain “will be dependent on Europe” for second doses, Brussels` vaccine chief says Boris Johnson should recognise EU`s vaccine effort.
There have been tensions between the EU and Britain over COVID vaccine supplies and rollout, with Brussels threatening to impose an outright ban on exports of the AstraZeneca jabs. Leaders from both sides have had acrimonious debates over the issue of vaccines.
At some point, most European countries had experienced serious vaccine shortages whilst Britain seemed to be progressing with its vaccination programme having secured deals with the UK based vaccine providers earlier than the EU.
EU Commissioner Thierry Breton has urged Boris Johnson to appreciate the EU for its contribution to the productions of vaccines.
“I won’t suggest to the prime minister that he says thank you – that’s not my role,” Mr Breton said. “But maybe a little signal to the women and men now working night and day in 53 factories across Europe to help supply the UK would be welcome.”
He went on to criticise both the UK and vaccine producers AstraZeneca saying, the only advantage to Britain of choosing the company to produce the Oxford jab was its location in “Britain, but no real experience in vaccine production”.
“And we’re seeing today what that means,” Mr Breton added.
The Commissioner took another swipe on AstraZeneca saying it supplied all its does to Britain and the EU only received 25 per cent of what they had agreed to deliver.
“If a company signs contracts with two companies, there shouldn’t be priorities. AstraZeneca must explain what happened,” he said.
In another statement, Mr Breton praised the EU for its “rapidly increasing” capacity which enabled the bloc to supply 100 million doses to the EU Member States to date and also offered vaccines across the globe.