National Post (Latest Edition)

Merkel blocked EU effort to buy more vaccine

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Angela Merkel came under fire Monday after it emerged she intervened personally to block an attempt by European health ministers to secure larger orders of coronaviru­s vaccine.

Public anger is growing on the continent at the European Union’s failure to order enough doses of the Pfizer- Biontech vaccine, developed in Germany and manufactur­ed in Belgium.

But it now appears Merkel, the German chancellor, blocked an initiative by the German, French, Italian and Dutch health ministers to order more stocks of vaccine last summer.

Germany’s Bild newspaper published a leaked letter from the four health ministers to Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission president, in which they agreed to hand over control of vaccine orders to the EC.

According to the tabloid, the letter was written under pressure from Merkel, who wanted to send a signal of solidarity at the start of Germany’s six- month EU presidency.

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