Shortfall in jabs pushes EU vaccine drive to crisis point

Shortfall in jabs pushes EU vaccine drive to crisis point

Paris and Lisbon halt inoculations as bloc looks to restrict exports and AstraZeneca is hit by German guidance

The EU’s Covid-19 vaccination plan is nearing crisis point after several regions suspended inoculations over the shortage of jabs and Brussels moved to restrict exports of vaccines to conserve stocks.

The independent commission advising the German government on vaccination policy has recommended that the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab not be used for people aged over 65, a move that heaps pressure on the bloc’s vaccine effort.

Meanwhile, authorities in Paris and Lisbon have stopped or delayed administering first injections of Covid-19 jabs because of shortages. The Paris region and two other regions accounting for about a third of the French population have postponed new vaccinations for up to four weeks to conserve doses for those entitled to second and final injections of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine.

Faced with similar shortages, Portugal said its vaccination campaign would be delayed by up to two months. The country follows the Madrid region, which warned on Wednesday that it would pause its campaign for 10 days.