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Furious backlash across the EU over vaccine rollout fiasco

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Latvia

Chaos: Largest of EU’s three ex-Soviet Baltic states admits mass vaccination of its two million people won’t begin before April. Only 30 first-time doses given on Thursday, while 738 people received second shot. Total jabs so far is 23,091. Country was offered 800,000 Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines and PM Arturs Krisjanis Karins has said he is ‘confused’, claiming someone ‘in our system’ decided secretly to take only 97,500.

Poland

Major unrest: Only 1.1 million jabbed of 38 million population. Long queues at medical centres led to demonstrations, including one in Warsaw by senior citizens, right, who protested outside the capital’s Chancellery about waiting times for jabs – while the country’s PM Mateusz Morawiecki was inside. Serious shortage of doses has caused some hospitals to suspend sessions when they didn’t get Pfizer supplies and anger over claims that celebrities and politicians jumped the queue. 20,000 defiant businesses have reopened, with some gyms even registering themselves as churches.

Poland: Only 1.1 million jabbed of 38 million population

Denmark

Effigy of the PM burnt: Lockdown fury erupts in Copenhagen as effigy of PM Mette Frederiksen – with a sign reading ‘she must be put down’ – hung up and burnt, left. Vaccinations running at less than third of UK rate, with 228,875 jabs given – three per cent of 5.8 million population. Healthcare workers’ appointments delayed.

An effigy of the Danish Prime Minister Mette Fredericksen has been burnt in Copenhagen

An effigy of the Danish Prime Minister Mette Fredericksen has been burnt in Copenhagen

Ireland 

Mounting anger: Fury over figures showing that jab rates in North up to five times higher than in Republic. Just 161,500 vaccinated of 4.7 million population and jabs for key health staff postponed. Police, left, can now impose on-spot fines for lockdown breaches.

Gardai in Ireland can issue on-the-spot fines for people breaching Covid-19 regulations

Gardai in Ireland can issue on-the-spot fines for people breaching Covid-19 regulations 

Lithuania  

Corruption: No prospect of mass inoculation until July – with only 91,794 vaccinated so far in population of 2.8 million. First round of jabs in care homes began only last week. Queue-jumping prompts president Gitanas Nauseda to say: ‘Attempts to take advantage of one’s ties, public position, influential friends or relatives… is a shameful relic of Soviet behaviour.’ Ministers won’t use Oxford vaccine for over-55s and polls suggest up to 40 per cent of population may refuse to be vaccinated.

Estonia 

Queue jumping: Just 7,600 of 1.3 million population have received two jabs (34,019 have had one) amid severely limited supplies, yet departing Russian consul-general Yuri Gribkov was given his second dose of the Pfizer/BioNtech jab just two days before ending his posting. Despite huge public pressure to approve Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, authorities in capital Tallinn plan to stick loyally to the EU pact on supplies.

Bulgaria 

Bottom of the EU vaccine table: Only 40,000 doses given and one of highest mortality rates among seven million population. Government has no deadlines, merely ‘optimistic’ target of vaccinating 1.5-2 million people by end of August. With blame being aimed at EU, government is predicted to break ranks and approve Russian and Chinese vaccines. Anti-lockdown protests included a fancy dress march in the capital Sofia featuring Batman, above, organised by restaurateurs demanding to be allowed to reopen.

Bulgaria: Only 40,000 doses given and one of highest mortality rates among seven million population

Bulgaria: Only 40,000 doses given and one of highest mortality rates among seven million population

Germany 

‘Biggest crisis since the second world war’: Apocalyptic verdict of health minister Jens Spahn about vaccine shortage, with only 2.7 per cent of country’s 83 million people given jab. He warned of ‘ten hard weeks’ ahead. Target of immunising all care home residents by mid-February in doubt. Widespread criticism of Brussels, with chief minister of Bavaria condemning late ordering and from too few manufacturers. German tabloid Bild says the EU’s actions are ‘best advert for Brexit’.

Romania

Cancelled appointments: On Friday, government announced delays to vaccinations for at-risk groups and key workers. More than 65,000 people face having appointments postponed until middle of February due to Pfizer vaccine shortages, and there’s a 20 per cent cut in stocks of Moderna. With 647,000 inoculated, country is sixth in EU league table.

Hungary

Breaking ranks with Brussels: First EU state to defy EU leaders and approve Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, while 500,000 doses of Chinese Sinopharm jab arrived on Friday. Government accused of downplaying virus’s impact and giving inadequate data about the effectiveness of the Beijing Institute-made vaccine. Public anger after Olympic athletes were given priority.

Greece and Cyprus 

Seeking help from Israel: Hoping ‘large percentage’ of population will be jabbed by June. Asked Israel to ‘co-operate’. Greece and Cyprus have suffered less, with 5,302 and 197 Covid deaths respectively – but anti-lockdown protests still took place in Athens, left.

Greece hopes a large proportion of their population would be vaccinated by July

Greece hopes a large proportion of their population would be vaccinated by July 

Italy

Ten days behind schedule: Domenico Arcuri, country’s vaccine tsar, says supplies will continue to fall behind expectations. ‘It’s very hard to start a mass vaccination campaign if you don’t have vaccines,’ he says, with only 1.8 million of 60 million population given jab. PM Giuseppe Conte warned of legal action against manufacturers. Meanwhile business owners in Rome protested, left, against Covid restrictions.

Italy has so far managed to give a vaccine to 1.8 million of their 60 million population

Italy has so far managed to give a vaccine to 1.8 million of their 60 million population 

Spain 

Vaccines halted: Madrid’s deputy leader warns that at current rate, it will take until 2023 before 70 per cent of population inoculated. Dwindling stocks in capital have led to almost all vaccinations being stopped for two weeks. Catalonia health chiefs fear that within days, the region’s vaccine storage fridges ‘will be empty’. Only half of Spain’s weekly delivery of 350,000 Pfizer doses arrived last week.

France

National humiliation: Prestigious Pasteur Institute forced to scrap development of a vaccine after failed trials. President Emmanuel Macron pilloried during strikes in Lyons, below, and other cities. Only 1.4 million jabs given in country of 67 million. Target of four million to be vaccinated by end of February cut to 2.4 million.

France has managed to inoculate 1.4 million people out of a population of 67 million

France has managed to inoculate 1.4 million people out of a population of 67 million

Netherlands 

Riots: Ugly scenes in Amsterdam, Eindhoven, left, The Hague and other cities as mobs burn cars and hurl bricks and fireworks at police during anti-curfew protests. Only 215,000 people vaccinated of 17.3 million population. First jabs given a month after the rollout began in the UK. Former public health director Roel Coutinho calls Dutch government’s vaccination strategy ‘shameful’.

Anti-lockdown protesters started rioting in Dutch cities such as Eindhoven, pictured

Anti-lockdown protesters started rioting in Dutch cities such as Eindhoven, pictured

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