Slow vaccination rollout puts EU strategy under scrutiny

Slow vaccination rollout puts EU strategy under scrutiny

US and UK make faster starts but tight supply represents looming risk everywhere

The EU’s vaccine procurement strategy is under scrutiny after member states struggled to roll out rapid vaccinations in the first weeks of the year, falling behind the UK and the US in the early race to inoculate citizens against Covid-19.

While the UK has administered more than 10 doses per 100 residents and the US has administered just over six per 100, the EU is languishing at under two doses per 100 residents, according to FT data.

The widening gap has sparked growing anxiety in European capitals, especially as already strained supplies of vaccine have suffered further setbacks. In the latest blow to vaccination plans, European officials on Friday said first-quarter deliveries of AstraZeneca’s shot were likely to be cut by more than half because of what the company had warned was reduced capacity in its EU supply chain.