The European Union is not currently in the position to directly donate coronavirus vaccines to poorer countries, said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
“There is quite a bit of pressure on member states to obtain the vaccine for themselves,” she told the Funke Media Group.
However, von der Leyen underscored the EU’s financial support for the COVAX initiative, an effort by the World Health Organization to give poorer countries access to vaccines.
“The EU has invested 2.2 billion euros [2.6 billion dollars] in this initiative. COVAX has already delivered 30 million doses of vaccine to 52 countries,” she said.
The mechanism that allows the bloc to share vaccine directly with other countries will not start “until we have a better production situation in the EU,” according to von der Leyen.
The Commission president had aggressively campaigned for providing vaccines to people around the world back in spring 2020. However, most doses are being administered in rich countries.