LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) - Countries around the world were unprepared for a global pandemic and have struggled to deal with COVID-19, a European Union commissioner said on Sunday when asked by the BBC about the bloc’s stop-start rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
“Frankly, none of us have had a great COVID. I think all of us should put our hands up and say we were not prepared for this global pandemic, we did not do our best at the beginning, but we are doing our best now to protect our citizens,” said Mairead McGuinness, EU Commissioner for Financial Services and Financial Stability.
“That’s exactly where Europe is focused on, is on protecting our citizens, and once everyone is protected we are safe, so I think we all need to calm down,” she said in response to a line of questioning about European leaders’ mixed messages on the safety of the AstraZeneca shot and on the bloc’s feud with the firm over supplies. (Reporting by Estelle Shirbon Editing by Frances Kerry)