Saturday, February 27, 2021

EU chief warns of more vaccine production delays ahead

She says there will 'certainly' be other obstacles and problems in production as well as possible shortages of raw materials.

Other News

AmBank to pay RM2.83 billion settlement over 1MDB scandal

This is in addition to the RM53.7 million penalty imposed by Bank Negara Malaysia and paid by AmBank Group.

AmBank bayar Putrajaya RM2.83 bilion disebabkan penglibatan dalam skandal 1MDB

Pembayaran ini akan menguntungkan rakyat Malaysia kata Menteri Kewangan Tengku Zafrul Aziz.

Palm oil churns trouble in Canadian ‘hard butter’ puzzle

The pandemic has increased demand for butter, so farmers are feeding extra palm oil derivatives to their cows to produce more milk fat.

Kes Covid-19 kembali melebihi 2,000, 11 kematian baru

11 lagi kematian dicatatkan menjadikan jumlah 1,111 kes.

Daily cases back over 2,000, death toll up by 11

2,253 new cases, 3,085 recoveries.

EU chief Ursula von der Leyen defended Thursday her handling of the bloc’s coronavirus vaccine strategy, but warned that more production and supply problems lie ahead.

In an interview with several outlets, including French daily La Croix and Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung, von der Leyen admitted Europe could have acted more quickly to boost production capacity.

“In Europe, we aim to have 70% of the adult population vaccinated before the end of the summer. This is not insignificant, we are moving in the right direction,” she said.

“There will certainly be other obstacles, other problems in production, and we must also prepare for possible shortages of raw materials or certain components of these vaccines.”

Von der Leyen also admitted she should never “even have thought” of invoking a clause in the Brexit withdrawal agreement to prevent vaccines crossing the Ireland to Northern Ireland border.

This threat, floated in a European Commission export control plan on Friday before being hurriedly abandoned, was denounced in both Dublin and London and embarrassed the Commission.

But she defended the broader European vaccine strategy, which has seen the EU Commission negotiate contracts with private pharmaceutical giants on behalf of 27 member state governments.

The idea was to avoid competition driving up prices and freezing out smaller EU capitals – but the US, UK and Israel have raced ahead in terms of vaccinating citizens.

“What I realise, looking in the rear view mirror, is that we should have been thinking more about mass production and the challenges it poses,” von der Leyen said.

“Increasing volumes, setting up new supply chains sufficiently upstream, could have been done earlier,” she said.

“Now we are working with industry to prepare for the possibility of coronavirus variants that are able to resist vaccines.”

Follow us on Telegram for the latest updates:

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news and analyses.

Related Articles

Daily cases back over 2,000, death toll up by 11

2,253 new cases, 3,085 recoveries.

Maximum RM10,000 fine for SOP offenders beginning March 11

Companies or corporations that violate the SOPs can be fined up to RM50,000.

China approves 2 more home-grown Covid-19 vaccines for use

China is exporting vaccines to 27 countries and providing free doses to 53 others, a foreign ministry spokesman says.

US approves Pfizer vaccine storage at normal freezer temperature

The move loosens a previous requirement that the vaccine should be stored at ultra-low temperatures, between -80 to -60 degrees Celsius.

It’s not just about patent rights, expert says on ways to make Covid jabs cheaper

India's Serum Institute offers a good example of overcoming the problem of vaccine exclusivity during the current health emergency.