France claims UK will struggle to source second Covid jabs

France claimed that UK will have to put a lot of struggle to source the second shot of the COVID vaccine.

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France claimed that UK will have to put a lot of struggle to source the second shot of the COVID vaccine.

EU will not be pressurized or blackmailed to export the vaccine this time around. Jean-Yves Le Drian, a close political ally of the French president, Emmanuel Macron, claimed that the UK’s success had been built on driving forward with first jabs without having secured the second doses necessary for full vaccination.

The EU and the UK are locked in talks about the fate of Oxford/AstraZeneca jabs produced in a factory in the Netherlands.

 French government has already criticized the EU for its vaccination program since the claims of side effects were out. According to the UK government’s latest data, 55% of adults aged over 18 have received a first jab and 5.3% have had a second dose.

Earlier this month, Boris Johnson said the UK had sufficient supplies to ensure that people would be given their second jabs on time. “We will have the second doses that people need within the 12-week window, which means around 12 million people in April,” the prime minister said.

The AstraZeneca vaccine is sourced from two UK sites, in Oxford and Keele Science Park, Staffordshire, along with the Serum Institute of India and the Halix plant in the Dutch city of Leiden. The UK sites have, however, suffered yield problems, leaving the UK with only 30% of expected deliveries in this first quarter.

The European Commission is having a dialogue regarding the vaccination jabs. In a sign of the difficulty of the issue, on Thursday evening, following a virtual summit of EU leaders, both the European commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, and Macron said they would not allow AstraZeneca, which has only delivered to the EU 30m doses of the expected 120m this quarter, to export to the UK.

Macron told reporters in Paris: “I support the fact that we must block all exports for as long as some drug companies don’t respect their commitments with Europeans.”