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Politics

Mitsotakis Backs EU Pushback Against COVID-19 Vaccines Delay

ATHENS – With Greece’s COVID-19 vaccination program to a slow start, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis – who also said it was going according to plan – is supporting the European Union for pushing drug makers to deliver more.

Greece has gotten only a couple of hundred thousand doses – two are required to be effective, cutting the number of people to be inoculated by 50 percent – and not the millions he said were coming.

The problem is acute across the EU after the United Kingdom-based Astra Zeneca, in collaboration with the British University of Oxford selling most to its own government after it left the bloc, and to the United States.

“I am glad that the European Commission has listened to the urgings of many heads of states and governments and is now negotiating harder, more decisively, more rigorously with the large vaccine companies,” he told ministers, said Kathimerini.

“These companies need to understand that to the extent that European money has been used in the research of these vaccines, they need to honour the contracts they have signed with the European Union,” he added.

The EU "must be able to exert the necessary influence or even pressure” on large companies to be consistent with the delivery timetable to which they were committed, he continued.

Health experts said to be effective in slowing the pandemic that at least 70 percent of a population must get the vaccines but on the current schedule that won’t happen in Greece or many other countries yet.

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