EU squabbles over 10 million doses of Pfizer vaccine – Times of India

BRUSSELS: EU nations fell out Thursday over tips on how to divide up 10 million additional doses of coronavirus vaccine with Austria, Slovenia and the Czech Republic refusing to assist 5 struggling international locations.
A deal was agreed late within the day to distribute practically three million doses to “those most in need”, mentioned Portugal, which holds the rotating European Union presidency.
But Austria, Slovenia and the Czechs had insisted on receiving their full quota of vaccines beneath the overall shareout system in keeping with inhabitants, mentioned an announcement from the presidency.
A major group of 19 states together with Germany, France, Italy and Spain had determined to indicate solidarity with Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia and Slovakia.
The 5 thought of most in want will now get their full quota of 2,854,654 doses.
The giant group will share out 6.66 million vaccines.
Two days of talks between ambassadors had failed to steer Austria, Slovenia and the Czechs to assist out.
In the top, Prague misplaced 143,000 after refusing a compromise, a European diplomat mentioned.
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz boasted he had grabbed 199,000 doses for Austria as an alternative of the 139,000 on supply.
“Chancellor Kurz has shown a lack of solidarity and abandoned” the 5, the diplomat mentioned.
“He’s happy to write letters and drop his allies,” he added.
Slovenia takes over the EU presidency on July 1 and the behaviour of its prime minister “sends a bad signal”, one ambassador mentioned.
The 10 million doses are an advance supply from BioNTech-Pfizer of an order of 100 million doses scheduled for the third quarter of the yr.
With a stuttering begin to the EU’s vaccination marketing campaign that has seen the bloc lag behind the US, Britain and Israel, the European Commission on Wednesday mentioned the bloc may have obtained a complete of 107 million doses of coronavirus vaccine by the top of this week.
The whole was revised down dramatically after the Anglo-Swedish pharma big AstraZeneca slashed the quantity it was offering.
Deliveries are anticipated to choose up significantly within the second quarter of the yr, with the fee saying it ought to obtain at the very least 300 million doses by the top of June.
EU chief Ursula von der Leyen insists the 27 nations stay on the right track to satisfy a goal to inoculate 70 p.c of adults “by the end of summer”.
Austria, which had led requires a correction to the shareout mechanism over fears of shortfalls, on Tuesday mentioned it had change into the newest EU nation to open talks with Russia about securing deliveries of its Sputnik V vaccine.

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