Daniel Boffey, the Guardian’s Brussels bureau chief, talks to Rachel Humphreys about the extraordinary row that has developed between the EU and AstraZeneca, over a shortage of doses in the first quarter of this year. The European commission has been criticised over a shortage of vaccine supplies, with just 2.84% of the EU’s adult population having received a jab against 14.41% in the UK as of Tuesday. The commission has raised suspicions that the shortfall was because of doses being shipped to the UK.
Last week, the commission attempted to seek to erect a vaccine border on the island of Ireland by triggering a clause in the Brexit withdrawal agreement. It was forced into a U-turn after an outcry by the Irish taoiseach, Micheál Martin, and Boris Johnson, among others. Ursula von der Leyen, the European commission president, has not apologised for the decision and on Tuesday risked further inflaming the situation when she said the vaccination programme in the UK had enjoyed a head start through compromising on ‘safety and efficacy’ safeguards.
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