European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has acknowledged shortcomings in the EU's approval and subsequent rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, but believes the bloc has learned lessons in the process, as reported in This is Money.
Von der Leyen said 26 million vaccine doses had been delivered and that, by the end of the summer, 70% of adults in the EU should have been inoculated. "Yet it is a fact that we are not today where we want to be in the fight against the virus," she remarked.
"We were late with the approval, we were too optimistic on mass production, and perhaps we were also too certain that the orders would actually be delivered on time," von der Leyen added.
She also admitted that mistakes were made leading up to the decision on export controls, saying "I deeply regret that."
Still, von der Leyen defended the Commission's oversight of vaccine orders, saying it would have been unfair and "economic madness" for the EU single market if just a few large member states had guaranteed doses.
The EU could also not have cut corners in its approval of biological substances injected into people's bodies, even if this lost three to four weeks to rivals, she added.
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