Six EU countries raise concerns over COVID jabs distribution: official

FILE PHOTO: Vials and syringes are seen in front of displayed EU flag in this illustration photo taken March 16, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Latvia and Slovenia raised concerns over COVID-19 vaccine distribution in a call with the head of the European Council on Wednesday, a European Union official said.

European Council President Charles Michel, who chairs EU summits, discussed the matter with leaders from the six countries on Wednesday. The bloc’s 27 EU ambassadors will address this later in the day, the official said.

“Leaders shared their concerns with (Michel) on possible gaps in the vaccine distribution between member states following the fact that one company has not respected its commitment,” the official said, under condition of anonymity.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Tuesday he and allies from eastern Europe were pushing for the EU to adjust the way it distributes COVID-19 vaccines. The EU faces an acute squeeze of COVID-19 jabs due to reduced deliveries by AstraZeneca.

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska; editing by Philip Blenkinsop