As Biden meets EU leaders, Merkel calls for increased domestic vaccine production

WION Web Team
Washington, United States Updated: Mar 25, 2021, 07:00 PM(IST)

Angela Merkel (file photo). Photograph:( Reuters )

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Her statement has come at a time when the US President, Joe Biden, will be meeting the 27 EU leaders virtually in a bid to mend ties with the EU

The European countries are now starting to raise their voices against the distribution of coronavirus vaccine and a slowed down rollout of the vaccines.

Talking about the problem of low rollout, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the European Union (EU) will have to figure out how to produce more vaccines on the European soil since she believes, the bloc's supply problems are more to do with lack of production capacity than with under-ordering.

"British production sites are manufacturing for Britain and the United States is not exporting, so we are reliant on what we can make in Europe," she said before the EU leaders' summit, scheduled on Thursday. "We have to assume that the virus, with its mutations, may be occupying us for a long time to come so the question goes far beyond this year."

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She also warned the experts against not supplying vaccines to other parts of the world as she believes less supply of vaccines can lead to the birth of new mutations which may turn out to be vaccine-resistant.

"Because we can clearly see: British manufacturing plants manufacture for Great Britain, the US aren’t exporting anything, and therefore we rely on what can be produced in Europe and we have to expect this virus will preoccupy us for a long time," she said.

Her statement has come at a time when the US President, Joe Biden, will be meeting the 27 EU leaders virtually in a bid to mend ties with the EU, after four years of sour relations under the Trump administration.

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While Biden's appearance will be a good distraction, the EU leaders will still be focusing on their frustrations related to the slow sleep of vaccine rollout.

The EU leaders are angry that the UK-based pharma company AstraZeneca has not been able to fulfil the set delivery targets for Europe, while the UK has had smoother supplies.

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