Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Vaccine failings cast shadow over EU summit as third wave surges

CoronavirusMar 25, 2021 03:01PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
3/3 © Reuters. European leaders' and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg video conference on security and defence and on the EU's Southern Neighborhood in Brussels 2/3

By Sabine Siebold and Philip Blenkinsop

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders met on Thursday to navigate a common path out of the COVID-19 pandemic as infections surge in many of their countries, seeking agreement on how to ramp up supplies of vaccines after a slow start to immunisations.

With distribution of shots uneven across the bloc and member states divided over whether to take a tougher line on vaccine exports, French President Emmanuel Macron voiced frustration over national inoculation programmes that are running far behind those of Britain and the United States.

"We didn't shoot for the stars. That should be a lesson for all of us. We were wrong to lack ambition, to lack the madness, I would say, to say: It's possible, let's do it," he told Greek television channel ERT ahead of the summit.

As of March 23, Britain had administered nearly 46 vaccines for every 100 people, compared with under 14 per 100 in the 27-nation bloc it left last year, according to figures compiled by website Our World In Data.

Europe's rollout, beset with delays, has led to a quarrel with Britain, which has imported 21 million doses made in the EU, according to an EU official. Britain says it did a better job negotiating with manufacturers and arranging supply chains.

The EU says it should share more, notably to help make up a massive shortfall in contracted deliveries of AstraZeneca (NASDAQ:AZN) shots. The bloc sent slightly more than one million AstraZeneca doses to Britain before February, said the EU official, who declined to be named.

Highlighting the EU's difficulties, U.S. biotech Novavax (NASDAQ:NVAX) is delaying signing a contract to supply its vaccine to the bloc, an EU official told Reuters on Thursday, due to problems sourcing some raw materials.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, under pressure at home after making a U-turn on plans for an extended Easter holiday to break a third wave of COVID-19, defended the EU's decision to procure vaccines jointly for all member states.

"Now that we see that even small differences in the distribution of vaccines cause big discussions, I would not like to imagine if some member states had vaccines and others did not," she told German lawmakers ahead of the summit. "That would shake the internal market to its core."

Several countries have complained that vaccines are not being distributed equitably, which Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz warned on Thursday could cause the bloc great harm if it was not rectified.

TENSIONS WITH UK

The EU's executive unveiled plans on Wednesday to tighten oversight of vaccine exports that would allow greater scope to block shipments to countries with higher inoculation rates.

Brussels and London sought to cool their tensions on Wednesday, declaring that they were working "to create a win-win situation and expand vaccine supply for all our citizens".

Although the Commission's proposal on vaccine exports will be discussed at the summit, it is not likely to be explicitly endorsed. Several countries - including Belgium the Netherlands, Ireland, Sweden and Denmark - have reservations.

"If we need to have this because one supplier is not delivering then I hope this is a stick which does not have to be used because it might turn out to be lose-lose," said one EU diplomat.

European Parliament president David Sassoli, who spoke to the leaders at the start of the meeting, said it was vital for the bloc to remain united.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a tweet she had briefed leaders, with slides showing the global spread of destinations of 77 million vaccine doses shipped from EU plants since the start of December. This covered over 40 countries.

She also said the bloc should sharply increase vaccinations given 360 million doses were scheduled for delivery in the second quarter, up from 100 million in the first, highlighting shortfalls from AstraZeneca in both periods.

A draft of the summit conclusions seen by Reuters said on vaccines that leaders would stress "the importance of ... export authorisations", and reaffirm that vaccine producers must be respect contractual delivery deadlines.

However, diplomats said countries with misgivings about a tougher stand on exports would not put up strong resistance.

"Their message is ... please act very cautiously, in a very balanced way," said one EU diplomat. "But there is nobody who says don't do it."

U.S. President Joe Biden will join the leaders briefly at around 1945 GMT, with the pandemic and the warming of transatlantic relations that soured under former President Donald Trump on the agenda, EU officials said.

Vaccine failings cast shadow over EU summit as third wave surges
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (4)
Murray McIntosh
Murray McIntosh Mar 26, 2021 4:01AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
the EU keep insisting they hv delivered vaccines to the UK. this is not the case. The internetional pharmaceuticals hv produced the vaccines for the UK under a strong contractual agreements under international law. The EU are asking th companies to break international law. you just can't trust them.
Guy Dewaerheid
Guy Dewaerheid Mar 25, 2021 6:00PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
EU receive 10/10 for the barabarian buraucraty and 0/10 for efficienty If you want the truth, assume this : we need 4 x 2 doses of jabs each year.
Alan Rice
Alan Rice Mar 25, 2021 11:23AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Covid19, 1 million , Global pollution, 50 million ??
Gary SKY saw
Gary SKY saw Mar 25, 2021 11:13AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Snake is always a snake... Suckers
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email