EU summit to discuss COVID-19 vaccine roll-out

NEWS 24.03.2021 21:08
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Source: JENS SCHLUETER / AFP

A European Union summit will be held virtually on Thursday and Friday, with leaders due to take stock of the roll-out of vaccines and the epidemiological situation as one of the topics on the agenda.

The European Union is lagging behind Great Britain and the US in the immunisation of the population against COVID-19.

The European Commission has signed contracts with several vaccine producers and pre-ordered amounts of doses exceeding the needs of the Union, but the problem has appeared due to the producers’ failure to deliver on their promises.

This particularly refers to the British-Swedish company AstraZeneca, whose amounts in the first quarter of 2021 were three times lower than agreed.

This has especially affected countries such as Croatia, which have pre-ordered more AstraZeneca shots than vaccine doses from other companies.

In order to alleviate these imbalances, the accelerated delivery of Pfizer/BionTech vaccine has been agreed and 10 million doses are expected in the second quarter of this year.

Six countries — Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Latvia, and Slovenia — have asked for the correction of the distribution of shots against coronavirus.

According to some diplomatic sources, Croatia can expect 4%-5% of the 10 million doses, which is equivalent to 400,000-500,000 doses.

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