Netherlands politician calls for 'Nexit' referendum
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Earlier this week, the EU was dealt yet another blow by vaccine producers, Johnson & Johnson, who told the bloc it faces more delivery delays.
The EU Commission has revealed the pharmaceutical company was still due to meet its contract for total doses by the end of this year.
An EU spokesperson said: “Member states were informed of certain delays when it comes to the delivery of Johnson and Johnson shots, and they expressed their concern.
“The way we understand it is that this is a temporary reduction in deliveries and we can expect to see an increase in deliveries of doses soon.
“We’re still working on the basis of the hypothesis that we’re going to have the number of doses agreed on the whole, the second and third quarters.”
It came after weeks of delivery delays to the EU from Oxford jab producers, AstraZeneca, which resulted in a legal battle between the bloc and the pharmaceutical company.
The bloc is still struggling to catch up with the UK’s vaccination rollout.
Nearly six in ten people received at least one dose of the vaccine in early June in the UK, compared to just 39 percent of Europeans, according to CovidTracker.
In the Netherlands, Brussels’ sluggish performance against the UK’s success is sparking calls for the country to leave the EU.
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Campaigners from the Nexit Denktank shared an article by Dutch daily De Telefraaf titled “Success of British vaccination policy seen as ultimate proof of Brexit wisdom”.
The Nexit enthusiasts claimed the UK’s success debunked pre-Brexit scaremongering reports Britain would face a shortage of pharmaceutical once out of the EU.
They blasted: “We’ve been saying this since December.
“The United Kingdom can now get rid of the measures earlier, which will lead to more economic growth (7.5 percent).
“As it turns out, the fear-mongering about drug shortages due to Brexit applies precisely to the EU and not to the UK.
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According to the Guardian, Johnson & Johnson was contracted to deliver 55 million shots of its vaccine to the EU by the end of June.
This was roughly a quarter of the 400 million doses of four different vaccines the bloc is scheduled to receive in the second quarter.
Last month, the Commission started a legal case over alleged breaches of an advance purchase agreement with AstraZeneca.
The Oxford jab producers were only able to deliver about a quarter of the promised jabs due to production problems at a plant in Belgium.
In response, AstraZeneca said in a statement: “Following an unprecedented year of scientific discovery, very complex negotiations, and manufacturing challenges, our company is about to deliver almost 50m doses to European countries by the end of April, in line with our forecast.
“AstraZeneca has fully complied with the advance purchase agreement with the European Commission and will strongly defend itself in court. We believe any litigation is without merit and we welcome this opportunity to resolve this dispute as soon as possible.”
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