EU: Austrian Chancellor criticises vaccine delivery strategy
When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters.Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer.Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights.You can unsubscribe at any time.
The Commission’s Vice President said on Sunday the EU now needs to ensure that “all of Europe gets vaccines”. Mr Timmermans admitted the Brussels bloc has made mistakes in the procurement of jabs, adding he will like to take stocks of all the issues and flaws of the EU after the pandemic is over.
He said: “Then we can see what we have done wrong and what we have done right.”
He added: “It is true that mistakes have been made when ordering the vaccines, both in Brussels and in the member states.”
In a savage response to Mr Timmermans’ admission, the Italian MEP tweeted: “Unbelievable, weeks after my two-year-old son also noticed the EU’s management disaster, here comes Timmermans!”
The EU’s slow rollout of COVID-19 vaccines has been widely criticised, with only about 5 percent of people inoculated so far and the bloc’s target of inoculating 70 percent of its adult population by the end of the summer seen to be increasingly in question.
But, keen to revive economic growth mauled by the pandemic, the bloc’s 27 national leaders agreed last month to prepare joint rules for such COVID-19 “green certificates” before the summer.
They must yet agree, however, how exactly to use them and what travel rights would be attached.
Southern EU countries reliant on tourism hope such passports would help unlock its summer season this year but ran into opposition from Germany, France and Belgium stressing that inoculation is neither obligatory nor available to all.
European Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said on Thursday: “We are working on a certificate – it’s not a passport – but it’s not only about vaccination. It about recovery for the people who had sickness, vaccination or test.
READ MORE: EU warned Netherlands’ ‘turn’ for ‘huge leap’ like UK and quit bloc
“We don’t have mandatory vaccine so it’s possible to refuse to be vaccinated.
“And we don’t have for the moment the capacity to organise vaccination for all the people who want to be vaccinated.
“We don’t want to have any discrimination.”
The so-called green passport project, which will be presented by Brussels on Wednesday, will only accept COVID-19 vaccines approved by the European Medicine Agency (EMA) so far.
Brexit live: Boris told to stop making £20billion Brexit bill payments [LIVE BLOG]`
AstraZeneca vaccine suspended by the Netherlands amid concerns [INSIGHT]
Merkel’s CDU suffers huge blow in regional elections [ANALYSIS]
An EU official on Friday said the plan will exclude jabs from Russia and China for the time being.
A move that some critics have claimed to be the umpteenth proof of Brussels’ “harmful” approach to vaccine strategies.
Currently, only four vaccines have been approved by the EMA: those from Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson since Thursday.
This excludes the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine used in Hungary as well as the Russian vaccine Sputnik V, also ordered by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and by the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
The EU official said European citizens will be able to have this certificate on their phones.
Holders will be able to “show that they are very likely not going to spread the virus”, they said.
They added it “would make it easier for people who need to travel to do so.”
They explained: “For example, if you are vaccinated, you will not have to do the PCR tests.”
Source: Read Full Article