Babiš: EU is too slow in approving coronavirus vaccines

Those who believe the Czech Republic is too slow in starting its coronavirus vaccination programme should direct their criticism towards the European Union rather than the Czech government, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš said in an interview with the daily Právo on Tuesday.

Mr. Babiš said that the reason why countries such as Israel and the United Kingdom are able to start vaccinating earlier is because they are not dependent on outside structures, unlike EU member states. He said that the issue of how slow it was taking to approve the AstraZeneca vaccine, which had already been purchased in August, had been brought up during the December meeting of EU prime ministers. The European Commission argued that there were insufficient resources to speed up negotiations, the Czech premier said. In the EU vaccines first have to be approved from the European Medicines Agency before they can be used.