(AP) BERLIN — Austria’s leader says his country and Denmark intend to stop relying solely on the European Union for coronavirus vaccines and will work with Israel to produce second-generation vaccines.
Chancellor Sebastian Kurz plans to visit Israel with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen on Thursday and confer with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on vaccine research and production cooperation.
The EU has faced criticism for its slow vaccine rollout, while Israel has vaccinated a large part of its population. Kurz said in a statement Tuesday to the Austria Press Agency that it was right in principle to take a European-wide approach to inoculations, but maintained that the European Medicines Agency has been too slow to approve vaccines and pointed to companies’ delivery shortfalls.
He added: “We must prepare for further mutations and should no longer be dependent solely on the EU in the production of second-generation vaccines.”
APA reported that Kurz said Austria and Denmark “will no longer rely on the EU in the future and will in the coming years produce doses of second-generation vaccine for further mutations of the coronavirus together with Israel as well as researching jointly treatment possibilities.”
Austria so far has vaccinated a bit under 5.5% of its population.