European Union Financial Services Commissioner Mairead McGuinness has said there must be a global focus placed on where vaccines are produced and on the supply chains of their components.

In an interview on the BBC's Andrew Marr programme, Ms McGuinness said delays in deliveries of the AstraZeneca vaccine had been hugely disappointing.

EU leaders will meet at a virtual summit on Thursday and she said the President of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has said everything is on the table.

She said the EU has been accused of vaccine nationalism but insisted it has taken an international approach. 

Ms McGuinness refused to be drawn on the question of the EU banning the export of vaccines to the UK, saying that decision is for EU leaders on Thursday. 

She said the EU has put everything on the table and has been open and transparent and other global stakeholders should to do the same. 

She said it is important to find out what is happening in relation to vaccine production.

Ms McGuinnes said a global view is needed on where vaccines are being produced and the supply chain of the various raw materials that go into the vaccine. 

She said the AstraZeneca saga is well told at this stage and it is hugely disappointing. 

"European citizens are growing angry and upset that the vaccine rollout is not happening as rapidly as we had anticipated."

She said both the UK and the EU have contracts with AstraZeneca and she understands the company is supplying the UK but not the EU. 

"We are supplying the UK with other vaccines. So I think this is about openness and transparency and addressing citizens concerns. It is about nothing else.

"This idea of wars and nationalism, I really want to stress to take that off the table. Europe has been international in its approach on vaccines."


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Defending how the EU has responded to Covid to date she said: "Frankly none of us have had a great Covid. I think all of us should put our hands up and say we were not prepared for this global pandemic, we did not do our best at the beginning but we are doing our best now to protect our citizens. That is exactly where Europe is focused on."

She called for calm and said the focus should be on ramping up vaccine production while also preparing for another possible variant. 

"We have to be prepared for the what if. And we need another vaccine."

She called for a halt to accusations and said in all the minutae of the current conversations it means sometimes forgetting the big picture.

"That the world has literally stopped turning. And all the things we took for granted like a meal out, summer holidays, seeing family have been destroyed because of an invisible virus. And we were not ready for it, globally not just in Europe."

She said we have learnt the hard lesson. "We need to invest in public health, pharmaceutical supply chains."

UK warns EU export ban would be 'counter-productive'

Britain has warned the EU against halting exports of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccines if the bloc did not receive promised deliveries first, saying the move would be "counter-productive".

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said "the world is watching" how the EU responds to a shortfall in deliveries of the inoculation from the Anglo-Swedish pharma giant, and that Brussels' reputation was at stake.

Appearing on several political talk shows, Mr Wallace said trying to "balkanise or build walls" around vaccine production would damage both British and European citizens.

"If contracts get broken, and undertakings, that is a very damaging thing to happen for a trading block that prides itself on the rule of law," he told Sky News.

"It is counterproductive because the one thing we know about vaccine production and manufacture is that it is collaborative. 

"They would undermine not only their own citizens' chances of having a proper vaccine programme, but also many other countries around the world with the reputational damage for the EU which they would find very hard to change over the short-term."