Angela Merkel 'stuck to EU rules' on vaccine rollout says expert
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Germany’s Chancellor gave her comments about another possibly wave of restrictions before the country has even exited its current lockdown. It comes as the EU has been heavily criticised over its slow rollout of coronavirus vaccines.
The UK has vaccinated about 28 percent of the country’s population.
However, the whole of the EU, has only managed to inoculate six percent of its 446 million population.
COVID-19 cases in Germany have also started to increase with only four percent of its public vaccinated against the disease.
Ms Merkel and the country’s state premiers have agreed to extend restrictions until March 7.
Speaking to German media, the Chancellor said: “Because of (variants), we are entering a new phase of the pandemic, from which a third wave may emerge.
“So we must proceed wisely and carefully so that a third wave does not necessitate a new complete shutdown throughout Germany.”
She added: “An intelligent opening strategy is inextricably linked with comprehensive quick tests, as it were as free tests.
“I cannot say exactly how long it will take to install such a system. But it will be in March.”
It comes as British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his roadmap out of lockdown this week.
His new four-step plan to ease England’s restrictions predict legal limits on social contact to be lifted by June 21.
From April 12, shops, hairdressers, gyms and outdoor hospitality could reopen.
Mr Johnson told MPs his plan aims to be “cautious but irreversible” and that it will be led by “data not dates”.
Ms Merkel also described the Oxford/AstraZeneca’s jab as “a reliable vaccine, effective and safe”.
She added: “As long as vaccines are as scarce as they are at the moment, you can’t choose what you want to be vaccinated with.”
Her comments came amid concerns that essential workers in Germany are refusing to take the AstraZeneca jab.
Remarks from top European officials, including French President Emmanuel Macron, have been blamed for slowing down the take-up of the AstraZeneca jab across the EU.
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Mr Macron previously blasted the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab as “quasi-ineffective on people older than 65, some say those 60 years or older”.
German newspapers on Wednesday praised Britain’s successful jab rollout compared to the EU’s vaccination farce.
German tabloid Bild wrote on its front page: “Dear Brits, we envy you!”
The paper moaned about being stuck in lockdown and said the UK’s vaccine rollout means we are “just plain happy”.
They added: “The English have announced their return to normality on June 21 . . . and here there’s no hope.”
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