EU threatens ban on COVID vaccine exports to UK

With the number of COVID-related deaths in the EU topping 550,000 and less than a tenth of the bloc's population inoculated, European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen said the epidemiological situation was worsening.

"We are in the crisis of the century," she told reporters.

"We see the crest of a third wave forming in member states, and we know that we need to accelerate the vaccination rates."

Von der Leyen said the flow of vaccine products was smooth with the United States but aired frustration over lack of deliveries from AstraZeneca in Britain.

"If this situation does not change, we will have to reflect on how to make exports to vaccine-producing countries dependent on their level of openness. We will reflect on whether exports to countries with higher vaccination rates than us are still proportionate," she said.