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As a smaller market, the U.K. almost certainly paid more. "They've clearly had to create the worst terms and conditions," the Commission official said. "God knows what they've agreed to on liability and indemnification."

At the same time, there's little denying that, while the variety of jabs available in Britain isn't as wide as it is across the channel, no EU country has vaccinated more people than the U.K. If the U.K. were still a member of the EU, it would be the only country on track to achieve the Commission's goal of vaccinating 70 percent of the adult population by summer at their current pace.

For governments champing to act faster, the delays have thrown the tradeoffs in the EU's strategy into sharp relief.

Countries can't just follow the U.K.'s lead by unilaterally authorizing vaccines purchased by the EU -- doses purchased by Brussels can only be released after they get the EMA's signoff, according to the agreement. So even though Budapest tried to make a point by green-lighting the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab, it won't get any shots before the rest of the bloc.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sat Jan 30th, 2021 at 03:17:01 PM EST

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