Italian PM urges EU to deliver faster Covid vaccine rollout

Italian PM urges EU to deliver faster Covid vaccine rollout
Photo by Yara Nardi/AFP
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi told EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday that there needed to be a "more rapid" response to the virus pandemic, particularly on the roll-out of vaccines.

Draghi, speaking to von der Leyen by phone, stressed “the priority goal of a more rapid European health response to Covid-19, especially on vaccines,” the Italian presidency said in a statement.

For her part, the EU chief tweeted that she was “glad to speak to Prime Minister Draghi tonight. We discussed cooperation on vaccine production & delivery”.

The EU Commission has come under fire from EU member states over delays in the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines in Europe.

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But last week, von der Leyen said the EU’s goal of fully vaccinating just under three-quarters of adults by late summer was one “that we’re confident with”.

As well as vaccines, Draghi and von der Leyen also talked about “the preparatory on the (Italian) recovery plan,” the EU chief said.

Italy, the eurozone’s third-biggest economy, is to receive more than 200 billion euros in EU aid in the wake of the economic fall-out from the coronavirus pandemic. And it must present its spending plans to Brussels by April 30.

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