Europe is experiencing a flurry of coronavirus infections, but authorities are moving slowly to ramp up vaccination programs that have been hobbled by shortages and red tape.
The European Union has injected 13.7 vaccine doses per 100 inhabitants, versus 39.4 in the U.S. and 46.7 in the U.K., according to Our World in Data. At the current pace, the EU won’t have vaccinated the majority of adults until well after the summer.
Governments across the continent have blamed the slowness on a shortage of doses due to manufacturing problems. But scientists say bureaucracy and excessive caution could soon become bigger bottlenecks, once deliveries pick up in April.
In Germany, the EU’s most populous nation, the number of vaccinations administered this week fell to under 300,000, after weeks of rising in sync with dose deliveries.
The shortage of vaccines in the bloc pushed EU leaders to agree Thursday to tougher controls and possible restrictions of vaccine exports, prompting concerns among vaccine-makers about tit-for-tat measures that could endanger complex global supply chains.