Austria to donate 30,000 Covid-19 vaccines to Czech Republic

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced the step in solidarity after failed EU talks to improve vaccine distribution through member states.

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 03.04.2021 09:00 (updated on 03.04.2021)

Austria will give 30,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to the Czech Republic, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said on Friday.

Kurz said the step was a sign of solidarity after the EU failed in recent talks to fix inequalities in the distribution of vaccines among individual members countries.

Kurz said other countries were about to take the same step towards the Czech Republic.

Prime Minister Andrej Babiš tweeted that Slovenia, too, had also made a similar gesture of solidarity.

"We will support bilaterally the Czech Republic, and we consider it very beneficial what we have heard from some other European countries that they are about to do the same," Kurz said.

Along with some other prime ministers, including Babiš, Kurz recently complained about the uneven distribution of the vaccine among EU members.

A week ago, the EU summit entrusted ambassadors of EU countries to agree on the distribution of an additional ten million vaccines from Pfizer in order to close the gaps in individual countries.

At first, the Portuguese EU presidency proposed that three million doses be reserved for the six countries most in need, specifically Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

The remaining seven million doses were to be divided according to the population number among all the 27 EU members. This was rejected by the Czech Republic, Austria and Slovenia.

Slovakia will receive 602,255 doses more, Croatia 683,514 doses and Bulgaria 1.15 million doses.

Kurz rejected the EU steps, calling them an incomprehensible lack of solidarity towards the Czech Republic, which is facing unusually high daily numbers of both Covid-19 cases and deaths.

Babiš, too, called the compromise incomprehensible.

Babiš said the final solution had been made under the influence of large states, lacking both solidarity and balance.

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He thanked Kurz for the 30,000 doses.

"We are very grateful for the general help, especially as it comes from the friends who also need a large quantity of the vaccine, but they understood the difficulty of our situation. This is real solidarity!" Babiš said.

Some observers said the outcome of the talks was Babiš' failure. The server Politico said the Czech Republic had lost about 140,000 doses.