GERMAN politicians were branded “vaccine snails” today as public outrage builds over the country’s slow jab roll-out.
Health ministers have been told to shape up by German media over the "embarrassingly slow" vaccination process which has seen just 1.8million people receive the jab so far.
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In a searing article in Bild, the newspaper told politicians they “can and must do better" to get the public vaccinated safely.
Germany now trails behind the UK and US in the jab effort with only 1.8million Germans vaccinated to date, compared to the UK’s 6.8million.
Once praised for its rapid response to coronavirus, Germany is now struggling with high case numbers, a mounting death rate, and a vaccine roll-out that has seen the country jab just 2 in 100 people over the course of a month.
Israel manages to vaccinate the same number of its population every single day.
The EU has yet to approve the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, despite the UK giving the jab the go ahead on December 30.
Unlike the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the Oxford jab can be stored in a fridge, allowing for quick and easy deliveries.
The roll-out of the AstraZeneca vaccine has given Britain’s vaccination programme a significant boost – almost 7million Brits have now received the jab.
AstraZeneca is now on course to supply an average of 2million doses per day for the remainder of the year.
And while German politicians once promised their vaccine programme would rival the UK, the country looks set for more issues with the roll-out after Pfizer and AstraZeneca both announced they were cutting supplies to the EU.
AstraZeneca has warned deliveries would be slashed due to problems with the “EU supply chain” for the vaccine.
While an exact figure is not known, it is thought the cut could total 60 per cent of deliveries that were assigned to Europe.
Pfizer has also cautioned that jab deliveries will be cut by 20 per cent in the near-term – but promised to make up for doses missed later on.
The news sparked outrage from Europe, with Brussels demanding drug firms give them early warning when exporting Covid jabs outside the bloc.
The reaction raised the possibility that the EU could subject vaccines made within Europe to export bans.
Germany's health minister Jens Spahn was among those demanding restriction on jabs leaving the EU on Tuesday.
He said: “It makes sense that we have an export restriction.
“Vaccines that leave the European Union need a permit so that we can first of all know what is being manufactured in Europe, what is leaving Europe, where it is leaving Europe and whether it is then also a fair distribution.”
EU president Ursula von der Leyen has called for AstraZeneca company chief Pascal Soriot to “deliver”.
She said: “The EU helped with money to build research capacity and production facilities early on.
“Europe invested billions to help develop the world's first COVID-19 vaccines.
“Now the companies must deliver. They must honour their obligation. This is why we will set up a vaccine export transparency mechanism.”
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