The senior MEP lashed out after the US authorities authorised Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose jab, enabling tens of millions extra People to be vaccinated within the coming weeks and setting the shot up for extra approvals all over the world. The vaccine is the third to be authorised within the USA following ones from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, each of which require two doses.
Mr Verhofstadt, who was the European Parliament’s lead negotiator all through the Brexit course of, was livid on the gradual progress being made by the European Medicines Company (EMA).
He tweeted: “US approves Johnson & Johnson vaccine. What’s the EMA ready for?
“Day by day counts in deaths, financial injury, public belief and – as AstraZeneca case exhibits – entry to manufacturing.
“EU has all of the services to compete, however not the procedures!”
The US Meals and Drug Administration (FDA) introduced the emergency use authorization of the J&J vaccine for adults aged 18 and older following Friday’s unanimous endorsement by the company’s panel of outdoor specialists.
Shipments to vaccination websites have been anticipated to start at this time or tomorrow.
President Joe Biden hailed the transfer however cautioned People in opposition to celebrating too quickly.
He stated: “Issues are nonetheless prone to worsen once more as new variants unfold.
“There may be mild on the finish of the tunnel, however we can’t let our guard down now or assume that victory is inevitable.”
Mr Verhofstadt’s rant in opposition to the EMA, which was primarily based in London earlier than its transferred to Amsterdam forward of Britain’s departure from the EU, got here after German MEP admitted “Brexit freedoms” allowed the UK to tug nicely forward of the EU in its coronavirus vaccine programme.
Coronavirus circumstances have began rising once more in France and Germany and there may be big concern about new extra infectious variants of the virus.
Dr Gunnar Beck, who represents the nationalist Various for Germany (AfD) get together, claimed Germany may have achieved “so a lot better” with out “the useless hand of the EU”.
EU member states determined handy accountability for vaccine buy to the European Fee, somewhat than shopping for as particular person international locations.
However the Fee didn’t order sufficient of the best vaccines leading to severe shortages throughout the continent, bitter disputes between member states and a livid backlash in opposition to the bloc’s management.