EU express 'concern' over delays of Pfizer coronavirus vaccine
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Bulgarian prime minister Boyko Borissov has warned of a more than 60 percent increase in the cost of the life-saving jab in the coming years. While eurocrats have refused to reveal the exact prices, he claimed the European Commission is negotiating a new supply of the Pfizer vaccine at a cost of €19.50 a dose. The new supplies will be delivered between 2022 and 2023 as part of the bloc’s future booster programme to keep potential new coronavirus outbreaks at bay.
Mr Borissov said: “Pfizer was €12, then it became €15.50. Contracts are now being signed for 900 million vaccines at a price of €19.50.”
He added: “Now we are most afraid of the French variant. So many more variants will appear… because €19.50 for 900 million will cost nearly €18billion.”
The Bulgarian leader explained that governments will need to budget more for vaccines as people return for their third and fourth doses as part of future booster schemes.
As a result of the costly Pfizer jab, many EU leaders opted to use alternative immunisations as part of their fight against coronavirus.
Last year Eva De Bleeker, a Belgian secretary of state, shared the prices of each vaccination being negotiated for purchase by the European Commission.
She revealed that the AstraZeneca jab was available for governments to buy at just €1.78 per shot.
On the Pfizer price hike, a Commission spokesman said: “We will not make any comment. You would be well advised comparing contacts that aren’t necessarily the same nature.
“The first contracts, they were agreements where the Commission invested money into the companies in order to help them develop the vaccines… now subsequent contracts are of a different nature.”
Countries that opted to pursue vaccination through the AstraZeneca shot have been hit by supply shortfalls in Europe.
Brussels is furious at the Anglo-Swedish pharma giant for not delivering enough doses to member states.
As a result of the fury, eurocrats have threatened to blockade any shipments of the life-saving jab to Britain.
This has prompted a surge in support for Brexit with voters buoyed by the UK’s speedy vaccination campaign.
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A new study shows one in five Remainers would now change their votes to back quitting the bloc, according to a study by pollsters JL Partners for the Bloomberg news agency.
In comparison, only nine percent of Leave voters want to re-join.
Two-thirds of British voters believe that our hard-fought independence has been the driving force behind Britain’s triumphant jabs rollout.
And 67 percent said Brussels has behaved in a “hostile” way in the ongoing dispute over vaccination supplies.
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Just 13 percent of respondents to the survey said the EU had acted like an “ally and a friend” in the cross-Channel fight against coronavirus.
Brexit-voter Becky, 34, a flower seller from London, said: “The EU are behaving like a bitter ex.
“We’ve left, and they’ve not really been an ally when they could have been.”
So far, the UK has administered almost 40 million coronavirus jabs – at a rate of 58 per 100 people.
In contrast, Italy has only managed to deliver some 13 million doses and has even slipped below the EU’s average rate of 21 per 100 inhabitants.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel today the third wave of coronavirus infections engulfing Europe will be the toughest to get back under control.
The veteran leader called for vaccine production to be ramped up significantly across the Continent to boost the bloc’s sluggish jabs programme.
Meanwhile EU crimefighters warned police forces are at “breaking point” because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Europe director Catherine De Bolle said there had been a sudden surge trade in fake coronavirus vaccines and home-testing kits.
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