EU vaccine supply: 100 million doses per month from April

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EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expects a significant acceleration of the EU-wide coronavirus vaccination campaign. After a slow start in January and February, von der Leyen now expects 50 million doses to be delivered in March and 100 million doses per month from April.

Regarding the start-up difficulties in the vaccine supply taken over by the EU, “everyone had underestimated that the ramp-up of a stable mass production is fraught with considerable risks,” von der Leyen said in this regard, among other things, to the daily newspaper “Der Standard” (Monday edition). In this context, the Commission chief speaks of bottlenecks in raw materials and in supply chains. Solving the problem “was more difficult and bumpier than expected,” which is why things got off to a “very slow” start.

Now, however, the situation has eased considerably, according to von der Leyen: “In January, around 20 million bottles were delivered, in February around 30, and for March we expect around 50 million. Starting in April, the volumes could double again according to the manufacturers’ plans, also because more vaccines are about to be approved.”

Finally, von der Leyen also emphasized positively that the right vaccines had been relied on from the outset. “A year ago, there were 100 to 150 projects worldwide that wanted to develop vaccines against Corona,” von der Leyen said, “We invested in the companies that are leading the world today, starting with Biontech and ending with Johnson & Johnson.”

Addressing Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s (ÖVP) criticism of vaccination coverage in the EU, von der Leyen said her cooperation with the Austrian head of government is “very good.” “He also always emphasizes how important it is for smaller member states to have the full strength of a union of 450 million citizens.”

Finally, Von der Leyen also referred to next week’s upcoming vaccination drive in the Tyrolean district of Schwaz. Here, she said, she had “used all her powers of persuasion with the other 26 member states” to convince them to supply 100,000 vaccine doses for Tyrol. That this had been possible “shows how Europe is.” “It is always a matter of showing not only common strength, but also common solidarity.”

  • with reports from orf.at and derstandard.at/picture: pixabay.com
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