On German public broadcaster ARD just now Angela Merkel refused to accept criticism of the EU vaccine approval process. She defended the EU decision to go slower saying it was a matter of trust and attention to detail. She was asked about supply too /1
Whether - if the EU had been willing to pay more - it could have got more jabs and faster. Did national interest play a role she was asked: eg France wanting to favour the Sanofi vaccine? Merkel said no. She focused on the Pfizer vaccine in her answer, saying /2
The US exported virtually none of the Pfizer vaccine it produced so Europe was reliant on its own production plants, she said. She said that these were in the process of being added to /3
NB Not sure the above will silence critics /4
Just watched again. This interview was on Tageschau just now. ARD interview still to follow in a few minutes /5

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More from @BBCkatyaadler

2 Feb
Angela Merkel has just admitted on German public broadcaster ARD that it ‘rankles’ that U.K., US and Israel are vaccinating faster than EU countries but she insisted that nothing went wrong with the bloc’s procurement of vaccines /1
Britain, she said, had given an emergency approval to the Astra Zeneca vaccine within 24 hours but the EU had decided against that because, she said, countries depended on the trust of their citizens /2
Chancellor Merkel said in interview the EU wouldn’t have got more vaccines if it had offered more money to pharmaceutical companies. She said every vaccine is welcome in the EU as long as it’s approved by the European Medicines Agency /3
Read 5 tweets
2 Feb
The EU Commission denies President von der Leyen “attacked”’the U.K. over its vaccine approval policy.
In an interview with a number of European papers she was asked about the slower approval by the European Medicines Agency of vaccines compared to countries eg U.K. but /1
The Commission says von der Leyen answered the question comparing two methods. Not singling out the U.K.
Journalists in the room report the same Eg elpais.com/sociedad/2021-… and repubblica.it/cronaca/2021/0… /2
Von der Leyen is quoted as saying “Some countries started to vaccinate a little before Europe, it is true,” “But they resorted to emergency, 24-hour marketing authorisation procedures. The commission and the member states agreed not to compromise with the safety and efficacy..“/3
Read 6 tweets
29 Jan
After huge to + fro between AstraZeneca and Brussels about the terms of their #covid vaccines contract, the EU Commission says AstraZeneca has now agreed to publish the contract. EU has argued terms include delivery of vaccines from the company’s UK as well as EU production sites
Contract does mention that under the terms of making the”best reasonable efforts”(legal term in this context) to provide EU with agreed number of vaccines AstraZeneca would use production facilities in EU but also U.K. and possibly sites outside EU “to accelerate supply” toEurope
EU believes it has a strong case to demand some vaccines produced in U.K. should be diverted to EU to make up the approx 60% shortfall in vaccine delivery to EU up to end of March that AstraZeneca has warned about
Read 6 tweets
29 Jan
On German radio this morning, the European Commission President made clear she disputed the reasons given by Astra Zeneca for why it couldn’t honour its vaccine contract with the EU.. #covid /1
Mrs von der Leyen also disputed Astra Zeneca’s suggestion that the company’s UK based sites had to serve the UK first. She said their contract made clear the EU would have access to the UK and EU sites. She again called on Astra Zeneca to publish the contract immediately /2
Today the EU will announce details of new “transparency” regulations, requiring pharmaceutical companies to reveal how much of the vaccine/parts of the vaccine they’re producing, where they wish to export them to and when. EU countries could then authorise exports. Or not /3
Read 5 tweets
28 Jan
The UK Department of Health and Social Care disputes it has banned export of certain medicines incl a number used for treatment of #covid patients. Spokesman says
“Medicines that have been manufactured and intended for markets abroad are not subject to the export restrictions /1
He says:”We have restricted the exporting and hoarding medicines that have been placed on the market in the UK for UK patients to ensure the uninterrupted supply for NHS patients.” These restrictions mainly date back to March /2
The discussion about bans, alleged bans and proposed bans of medicines, equipment and especially vaccines is of course hugely sensitive. The EU has been contemplating an export ban on covid vaccines because of the current row with Astra Zeneca which has informed the EU /3
Read 8 tweets
30 Dec 20
European Commission Chief Ursula von der Leyen and European Council Pres Charles Michel (representing the 27 member states) begin the ceremonial signing of the EU-U.K. trade and cooperation agreement soon before the document is then flown to U.K. for PM to sign /1
EU enters new trade relationship in a wary frame of mind. No one I talk to here thinks this’ll be a smooth ride: the EU ever-conscious of protecting single market interests. Downing Street yearning to diverge, they believe /2
Repeatedly when I speak to EU figures about the agreement, they mention the government’s Internal Market Bill with its original clauses contradicting the Brexit divorce deal as to why there’s this wariness here. And why they hope the deal’s dispute mechanisms will be effective /3
Read 4 tweets

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