Matt Hancock reveals all those eligible can request vaccine
On Monday the bloc announced a deal to receive 300 million more Pfizer doses. The EU initially secured 300 million doses of the Pfizer shot in November 2020, with the hope of retaining further jabs this year. A spokesman for the EU said: “The Commission has adopted the new contract today.”
Speaking about the new deal a Pfizer spokesperson said: “Discussions with the European Commission are ongoing.”
The deal has finalised 200 million doses to be distributed to EU states this year.
However, talks are ongoing about when a further 100 million shots will be delivered.
The news comes after the bloc has been criticised for its slow vaccination rollout as the UK has raced ahead with millions of people vaccinated across Britain.
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Pfizer stated there would be a delay in deliveries to EU states for the first three months of the year.
Responding to criticism that the vaccines are being rolled out to slowly EC president Ursula von der Leyen: “A country can be a speedboat, the EU is more like a tanker”.
This was the first time Ms von der Leyen had admitted the EU had been slow to roll out its vaccination supplies.
Last Friday she spoke to German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and said: “More focus should have been put on production and delivery, not just on developing the vaccine.”
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Many Germans are now asking why a vaccine developed in their country has been rolled out much faster in the UK and the US.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was the first to be approved in the UK, but took much longer to get approval in the EU.
The rollout has now reached only 3.5 percent of the EU’s population.
The EU has decided to move forward with its programme of vaccinations so that they are fairly distributed across all 27 member states.
German chancellor Angela Merkel has stood by the EU’s decision.
On Friday she backed Mrs von der Leyen’s decision and said: “The decision to order vaccines together as the European Union is and was right.”
Speaking about the UK’s process of placing orders for vaccines early, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We’ve backed many horses, no matter where they’re from.
“It’s a great example of what we can achieve together, working as one United Kingdom.”
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