UK still needs EU for vaccines, says commissioner

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(Bloomberg) — Cases of the Omicron variant are rising by the thousands every day, thanks to an EU official thanking the UK for sending enough vaccines to deal with the country’s “terrible situation.”

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“The UK relies heavily on Europe for many things, including vaccines,” said Thierry Breton, the EU’s commissioner for internal markets, in an interview with Bloomberg television. “But today I would like to say to my British friends: don’t worry, we will continue to deliver the things you need.”

Britain and the European Union are engaged in a post-Brexit battle over trade rules with Northern Ireland, although the British government has indicated it is open to an interim solution.

The European Union is prepared to tackle the highly contagious omicron that could be the dominant strain in the bloc by early 2022. During this week’s EU leaders’ summit, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that the bloc has placed an order for another 180 million doses. BioNTech’s vaccine, improved to fight stress.

“We have more than enough vaccines,” Breton said, adding that the European Union is facing two pandemics, the delta version still present and the Omicron strain. “We’ll be ready.”

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