EU sitting on mountain of 13m life-saving jabs – but still wants to blockade UK supplies

EU has '40% of their vaccines in storage' says Stubb

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European Commission boss Ursula von der Leyen is furious the UK has not exported a single dose of the AstraZeneca jab, the only one currently manufactured domestically, to the EU. She will use decades-old emergency powers to seize shipments heading for our shores. Mrs von der Leyen told a Brussels news conference: “It’s hard to explain to our citizens why vaccines produced in the EU are going to other countries that are also producing vaccines, while hardly anything is coming back.

“All options are on the table – we are in the crisis of the century and I’m not ruling out anything for now because we have to make sure Europeans are vaccinated as soon as rarely-used proposed in Greece but the idea. possible.”

In total, the EU has been delivered some 64.7 million doses of coronavirus vaccines.

Of those jabs, it has only administered 51.9 million of them, meaning the bloc is sitting on a mountain of 12.8 million immunisations in total.

And while as many as 17 countries continue to suspend the use of AstraZeneca vaccines over unsubstantiated health scares.

As a result of the suspensions on the rollout, the EU is sitting on a huge stockpile of the jab.

It has more than 7.2 million doses lying around in fridges waiting to be used.

More than 15 million Oxford jabs have have been shipped to the bloc by the Anglo-Swedish firm.

Mrs von der Leyen said Brussels was considering using the so-called Article 122 – last used in the 1970s – to seize control of vaccination factories, ban exports and tear up patents for the Oxford jabs.

The top eurocrat made the grab to secure “Europe’s fair share” of vaccines from Britain.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned the EU it must “stand by its commitments”.

And Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab accused Brussels of acting like a dictatorship.

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He said: “Frankly, I’m surprised we’re having this conversation. It is normally what the UK and EU team up with when other countries with less democratic views than our own engage in that kind of brinkmanship.”

Mr Johnson’s spokesman said of the EU’s threat to halt supplies: “It remains the case we would expect the EU to continue to stand by its commitments.”

It is the second time the EU has threatened to block jabs heading to the UK. In January it slapped a hard border on Ireland to break the supply chain, only to undo the action a few hours later.

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UK is showing 'gold-plated vaccine nationalism' says expert

This time there is anger that the EU’s shambolic vaccinations programme is lagging behind Britain’s successful roll-out, which has now reached 25 million people.

On top of that, 17 EU nations have halted use of the AstraZeneca vaccine over unsubstantiated claims it causes blood clots.

Prof Jeremy Brown, from the UK’s vaccination committee, said of the stoppage: “People will die as a consequence of these decisions.”

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