EU reputation EU takes ‘serious knock’ after falling behind rest of world on jab delivery

EU ‘reputation has been knocked’ on vaccine says expert

Kathleen Depoorter, a member of the Belgian Federal Parliament, appeared on the TRT Roundtable programme to discuss what reputational damage the ongoing coronavirus vaccine crisis is having on the European Union. Ms Depoorter acknowledged that compared to countries such as the UK and Israel, which have implemented speedy vaccination programmes, the EU’s own rollout was “not the best in the class.” 

Asked whether the vaccine fiasco had damaged the reputation of European Union, Ms Depoorter insisted the Commission had taken a “knock.”

She told the TRT roundtable programme: “You can’t say it is a real success, so I think they did take a knock.

“If we compare it to Israel, if we compare it with Britain, then we can’t say that we are the best of the class.

“They were really really proud of their contract but I think at the moment it cannot be proud anymore.”

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The European Commission has come under fierce criticism from EU member states over delays in the EU’s COVID-19 vaccine roll-out, which has badly lagged behind countries like Britain, a former EU member, and the United States.

AstraZeneca announced it would cut its supply of vaccines to the EU until March by 60 percent due to production problems particularly infuriated member states.

Although France has publicly defended the decision to entrust the Commission with negotiating vaccine contracts, President Emmanuel Macron has been “driven mad” by the “slowness and lack of imagination” of EU institutions on vaccines, a diplomatic source said.

European Union industry commissioner Thierry Breton was put in charge of a new vaccine production task force on Thursday to remedy the situation.

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As Europe lags behind Britain’s vaccine, Commission boss Ursula von der Leyen accused the UK of cutting corners over safety.

She said Britain had only managed to get a head start over the bloc after compromising on “safety and efficacy” tests.

The German said leaving it late “was the right decision”, adding: “It’s a gigantic responsibility.”

Britain secured a three-week head start over Brussels by taking responsibility for any future liabilities for vaccines.

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Downing Street has denied any accusations the UK has “cut corners” 

Mr Johnson said: “The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency has deemed the vaccines to be safe and effective and we have rolled them out to people on the basis of those who are the most vulnerable and those who are most likely to be hospitalised and sadly die as a result of the virus.

“You are aware of the rationale of providing the second does up to 12 weeks later, given it ensures we can provide more people with protection.”

He added: “No corners were cut, no stones were left unturned.

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