BRUSSELS — European Union figures show that the 27-nation bloc has allowed some 34 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine exports over the past weeks despite shortages at home as it continues to struggle to get its vaccine drive up to speed.
Several officials who spoke on conditions of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the figures said that over 9.1 million doses were exported to the United Kingdom at a time when diplomatic tensions rose over vaccine exports and the implementation of the Brexit divorce agreement.
One official highlighted that the exports were “only for the producers that respect their contract commitments” towards the EU.
The EU has been under pressure to increase the pace of vaccinations but member nations have complained that production woefully trails demand. Nowhere is the discrepancy in vaccinations more glaring than in a comparison with Britain.
The last available figures show that 35 % of the U.K. adult population has had a vaccine shot while the figure in the EU stands at 9.6 %.