EU Admits Vaccines' Supply ShortagesPolitics | February 10, 2021, Wednesday // 16:35| views
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has admitted the EU was late to authorise Covid-19 vaccines and "we're still not where we want to be".
She also acknowledged the EU had been overconfident about production targets being met amid delays at factories.
Mrs von der Leyen has come under fire for the EU's slow vaccine rollout.
But she was adamant that ordering vaccines collectively on behalf of member states was "the right thing to do".
Producers of vaccines including the Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech jabs have postponed delivery of some of the EU's order amid issues of capacity and supply.
Mrs von der Leyen has spoken to a number of newspapers in recent days but this was her first public acceptance of criticism. Last week, she told German paper Süddeutsche Zeitung that "a country on its own can be a speedboat, the EU is more like a tanker"."We were late to authorise.
We were too optimistic when it came to massive production," the Commission president told the European Parliament, "and perhaps too confident that what we ordered would actually be delivered on time." She also noted that questions would have to be answered about what went wrong.
However, Mrs von der Leyen maintained that a joint EU response had been the correct decision in dealing with the pandemic: "I can't even imagine if a few big players had rushed to it and the others went empty-handed.
She also defended the time taken to approve vaccines, which she described as "an essential investment to establish confidence and security".
The Commission president also said she "deeply" regretted a threat made by the EU last month to restrict the flow of vaccines passing between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland out of the EU.
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