Merkel CRISIS: Germany nightmare as thousands of AstraZeneca vaccines could be thrown away

UK 'set to lose global race on vaccines' says Miliband

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Doctors in Schleswig-Holstein warned the jabs could be binned if they are not used before their expiry date runs out at the end of June. Around 60,000 AstraZeneca vaccines are at risk of being wasted, German newspaper Kieler Nachrichten reported.

CDU politician Erwin Rüddel, who is chair of the health committee in Germany’s parliament, has urged people who are on waiting lists for other jabs to reconsider taking the AstraZeneca shot.

The AstraZeneca jabs were from Denmark, where the vaccine is no longer used due to a link to extremely rare blood clots.

And a further 58,000 AstraZeneca vaccines, which also expire at the end of the month, are set to be delivered to Germany from Denmark.

Germany’s jab rollout has seen 53.4 million doses administered, according to the latest figures from the Robert Koch Institute.

It comes as the European Union is embroiled in legal action with pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca over a supply row.

And a number of countries have restricted use of the jab amid fears over rare blood clots, while others such as Denmark have suspended it altogether.

The bloc’s vaccine rollout is finally picking up speed after coming under heavy criticism for being sluggish.

In February, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen admitted the EU’s vaccine rollout failures.

She compared Brexit Britain to a “speedboat”, while describing Brussels as a “tanker”.

Mrs von der Leyen told French newspaper La Croix: “I am aware that alone a country can be a speedboat, while the EU is more like a tanker.

“Before concluding a contract with a pharmaceutical company, the 27 member states had five full days to say whether they agreed or not.

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“This naturally delays the process.

“Indeed, we must constantly put pressure on ourselves so that each step of the decision-making process is as fast and efficient as possible.

“But I am absolutely convinced that the European approach is the right one.

“On these vaccines, we worked faster than usual.

“I can’t even imagine what it would have meant for Europe, in terms of unity, if one or more member states had access to vaccines and not the others.”

Mrs von der Leyen’s comments came after the EU was forced to make a humiliating U-turn after moving to override part of the Brexit deal on Northern Ireland to impose export controls on vaccines.

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.

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