EU overseas ministers met in Bratislava yesterday on the GlobSec Discussion board the place they clashed over the bloc’s vaccine procurements. A moderator was pressured to intervene in a livid row between Hungarian minister Péter Szijjártó and his Slovak counterpart Ivan Korčok.
The Hungarian authorities official lashed out towards the EU for the sluggish vaccine rollout, accusing Brussels of approaching the vaccination marketing campaign with an “ideological or geopolitical nature” angle.
However the Slovak minister got here to the defence of the EU Fee, blasting he was “sick and drained” of getting to deal with the EU govt’s failures within the COVID pandemics.
He added: “Can we determine, as we sit right here, one thing the place the EU has prevented us from doing one thing?”
The Hungarian minister reacted by saying his nation had been punished for utilizing Russian and Chinese language vaccines.
However Mr Korcok replied: “That was not a query of competence, that was a query of guidelines.”
The 2 international locations are mockingly additionally the one ones that accepted Sputnik V within the bloc.
Slovakia not too long ago joined Hungary, the primary nation to take action, in shopping for and authorising the Russian jab.
The choice, Mr Szijjártó claimed, was made with the assistance of the Hungarian authorities.
He stated: “I helped, I am happy with that.”
It might delay the bloc’s vaccination drive, however it’s not anticipated to be a major challenge as a result of member states largely depend on the German-made Pfizer jab.
The European Medicines Company final week stated J&J shipped to Europe doses from a manufacturing facility in the USA wouldn’t be used over fears of contamination.
They had been discovered contaminated with supplies used within the manufacture of AstraZeneca jabs, which additionally happens on the plant.
An EU Fee spokesman stated: “Following the non-release of those batches, the corporate is just not anticipated to be able to ship 55 million doses by the tip of this quarter.”
The EU ordered 200 million doses from J&J, of which 55 million had been to be delivered by the tip of the month.
The corporate has up to now delivered round 12 million pictures, however solely half have been administered, in keeping with official EU figures.
Fee officers have refused to say what number of doses they count on to be delivered by the American agency by the tip of June.
The spokesman instructed reporters: “The member states and the Fee have voiced their sturdy considerations concerning this shortfall.”
He revealed that the EU would work with the corporate “in the direction of the supply of the agreed doses on this and following quarters”.
Regardless of the setback, the Fee stated it anticipated to fulfill its goal of totally vaccinating 70 p.c of adults this summer time.
In an announcement, J&J stated it “stays dedicated to supplying 200 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to the European Union, Norway and Iceland and can proceed to replace the European Fee and member states in a well timed method as we refine supply timelines”.