Von der Leyen faces scrutiny over shaky EU vaccine strategy - (London South East via NewsPoints Desk)

  • European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen faced questioning by EU lawmakers on Tuesday over the bloc's COVID-19 vaccine strategy, focusing in part on the slow roll-out of vaccines, as reported in London South East.

  • The issue, which came to a head with EU export controls announced late last weel, followed news that AstraZeneca would cut its supply of vaccines to the bloc until March by 60% due to production problems.

  • The news source noted that even with the addition of an extra 9 million doses that von der Leyen announced this past Sunday, the shortfall is at least 50%.

  • Von der Leyen said the supply problems should ease in the second quarter, with more production capacity for Pfizer and partner BioNTech's candidate on the way and other potential approvals of vaccines, including one from Johnson & Johnson.

  • The Commission has ordered 2.3 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses from six producers, far more than the bloc requires, but production has been a major challenge, with von der Leyen telling one Dutch newspaper "I see it as a marathon in which we have only covered the first kilometres."

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