EU vaccine rollout: Furious Brussels chief snaps during interview over jabs | World | News

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European Commission vice-president Josep Borrell appeared to be feeling the pressure of the EU’s sluggish vaccination rollout during a French TV interview. Speaking to France24, the rattled Mr Borrell snapped at the TV host before bizarrely claiming that the EU and UK vaccination rates were “the same”. The EU’s foreign policy chief dismissed the number of people that the UK had vaccinated with a first dose – around 57 percent of all UK adults, insisting that a single jab was “not enough”.

This comes as the EU continues to struggle with its vaccination programme.

While both the EU and UK have similar double vaccine dose statistics, the UK has vaccinated more than 30 million Britons with their first COVID-19 shot.

In comparison, France has administered just 7 million doses of the vaccine, which means 10.7 percent of the French population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.

France24 host Catherine Nicholson grilled the EU chief on the bloc’s vaccine failures.

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She said: “The EU vaccine strategy is facing criticism for going too slowly from both outsiders and insiders, including most recently from Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

“Would you agree with Ursula von der Leyen that the Commission is being used as a scapegoat, or should the EU, with its size and bargaining power, be doing better on vaccines?”

Mr Borrell hit back: “Look, what is the percentage of the British population that has got two doses? Not one dose because that’s not enough. It is 5.5 percent.

“What is the percentage of the European population that has two doses? 5.5 percent.

“It’s the same thing. Only they choose a different strategy to vaccinate everyone with one dose, instead of us who are vaccinating with two doses which is what is required.”

Mr Borrell went on to refute Jean-Claude Juncker’s claims that the EU risks reputation damage if it engages in a vaccine war with the UK.

He said: “I am surprised you can talk about a vaccine war. Who is fighting the war?

“We, as the EU, have been exporting to the rest of the world the same amount we have allocated to our own people. We are not banning exports, we are just willing to control them.”

Earlier today, Business Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said that Britain will focus on vaccinating the whole of its adult population before it can start to provide any surplus shots to other countries, including EU member states.

He said Britain was working with European nations to try to ensure their populations were vaccinated, and that it was not “a competitive situation”.



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