Macron, Merkel say more vaccines are needed to fight new variants

Paris, Feb 5 (efe-epa).- Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel on Friday said European production of Covid-19 vaccines should be stepped up, especially against new more transmissible variants of the coronavirus.

At a press conference after a video conference, the French president and the German chancellor backed the work of the European Commission, especially that of its president, Ursula von der Leyen, who has come under fire for what critics say is the EC’s botched management and distribution of coronavirus vaccines.

Macron stressed that although the European Union has purchased 2.3 billion doses of the vaccines, it is now necessary to “increase production” so that they can be delivered as soon as possible.

He also stressed the importance of focusing “above all on vaccines against the variants of the coronavirus,” which are particularly affecting Europe.

“We will not emerge from this crisis as Europeans until we have vaccinated all our populations,” the French leader stressed.

Macron also praised the work of Von der Leyen and the EC, since “health was not a European policy” and in a very short time the procedure for the common purchase of vaccines was put in place. “We have invented a policy that did not exist, it is a magnificent achievement,” she said.

Merkel agreed that “the “fundamental decisions” taken by the Commission were and are correct.

The current shortage of vaccines in the EU is not because Brussels bought too few doses during contract negotiations, but because “the production capacity” of the bloc “is not as large as we thought,” she said, adding that expanding production capacities is not something that can be achieved “overnight.” EFE-EPA


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