EU begins coronavirus vaccine rollout amid concerns over supply

But there has been mounting frustration as Europeans have watched Pfizer and BioNtech’s vaccine, developed in Germany with German federal government funding, roll out first in a string of countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Israel and the United Arab Emirates. And while the bloc has ordered more than 2 billion vaccine doses as it aims to protect all its citizens against coronavirus, it has limited orders of the front running candidates.

“There is simply too little vaccine,” Markus Söder, the state premier of the German state of Bavaria, told the Bild newspaper on Sunday.

The 200 million doses of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine ordered by the European Union will be equally divided between each of its member states according to population size, meaning that Germany, with 18 percent of the bloc’s population, would receive around 36 million doses — enough to vaccinate 18 million people, just over 20 percent of its population.

But the companies have said that delivery time frames depend on when orders were placed, and while the United States and the United Kingdom put in orders for the vaccine earlier in the summer, the European Union only finalized their order in November after months of negotiations.