Problems with delivering vaccines to the European Union are creating tension in member states. The Coronavirus and vaccination situation prompted politicians to comment negatively on Britain, which had succeeded in vaccinating its population faster.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a radio interview with France Info that the European Union will not have to pay the price for a successful UK vaccine strategy.
The interview attracted a lot of attention in particular British Media Interprets it as France accusing Britain of blackmail.
In the interview, the foreign minister warned Great Britain not to enter the path of blackmail, without specifying more than that.
The claim could be linked to Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s warning earlier this week that imposing a potential EU ban on the export of vaccines could have a negative impact on UK investment in EU countries.
The background is that the UK is using all Astra Zeneca vaccines produced there for its population, while vaccines manufactured within the European Union (for example at the subcontractor’s Halix plant in the Netherlands) are being exported to the UK.
During the six-week period from early February to mid-March, just over 10 million doses were sent from the European Union to the United Kingdom.
“The British have problems when they are given a second injection.”
Foreign Minister Le Drian said in the French interview that a successful British vaccination strategy is facing a problem at the stage when the second dose is to be administered.
According to Le Drian, they did well on the other side of the English Channel because they had invested everything in giving the first dose. He says they did not confirm a vaccine during the second round.
The British mobilized their first dose of the vaccine, realizing that there would be problems with the second dose. Le Drian said Europe should not pay the price of such a policy.
The European Commission announced, Wednesday, that the European Union is tightening export licenses for Coronavina vaccines on the grounds that the manufacturer Astra Zeneca has not delivered the agreed quantities to the Union.
Commission President Ursula von der Leyen presented the vaccine numbers to European Union leaders at Thursday’s summit. Figures show that European Union countries have so far received 88 million doses of the vaccine.
Since the beginning of December 2020, 77 million doses of vaccine manufactured within the European Union have been exported to countries outside the European Union.
France Press agency ; BBC Yellow