Vaccine launches continue in the UK, with around 30 million people receiving the vaccine. This happened amid tensions between the EU and the UK over the distribution of the vaccine, with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen threatening to block the can from being exported to the UK. Yesterday she joked that “I could be wrong” as she said she was “ignorant” that the UK exports vaccines – and is “looking forward to their transparency”.
In Germany, only 60% of the AstraZeneca vaccine dose was used to reach the country.
Chancellor Angela Merkel, 66, facing increasing criticism for her handling of the pandemic, said she would accept the AstraZeneca vaccine herself when it was her turn.
With the country still under lockdown, Stephanie Polzen, editor-in-chief of German newspaper Die Welt in London, told Chopper Politics’ podcast that she is now happy to be in the UK.
Ms Poulzen told the podcast she was considering leaving the UK for Germany around the same time last year as the UK struggled to bring the pandemic under control.
She also admitted that she was “scared” by the rising number of cases in the UK.
However, she recently said that she would stay in the UK instead of Germany for the time being as a rapid roll-out of a vaccine raised hopes that an end to the pandemic could be in sight.
She said: “A year ago I remember my days here in London and how horrified I was to learn that the UK healthcare system, although brilliant in some ways, would be overwhelmed.
“Now, a year later, I have the vaccine and it looks like we are slowly coming back to life in the UK as before.
“When they are in Germany they are back in lockdown and vaccine introduction is still very slow. People are very frustrated and angry. Now I prefer to live here in London.”
Poulzen also commented on the vaccine crisis in Europe, saying Ms von der Leyen’s criticism of the United Kingdom did not reach Germany.
Read more: Pound rockets against euro after rapid introduction of vaccines in UK
“From a European point of view, you could say, ‘Why should the UK expect Europeans to send bioNtech vaccines and they are doing a good dissemination and they are good … are Europeans getting anything from the UK? ‘”? Does it burn?”
Telegraph journalist and podcast host Christopher Hope wondered whether it was because Britain was signing treaties faster than the European Union.
Poljean argued that AstraZeneca was keeping it a secret.
The journalist added: “That’s it, so why not reply to AstraZeneca?
“I interviewed CEO Pascal Soriot and that question was unanswered and people keep asking AstraZeneca to be transparent about this and they don’t.”
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