EU's von der Leyen admits vaccine supply failings

"We were late to authorize, we were too optimistic when it came to massive production and perhaps we were too confident that what we ordered would actually be delivered on time," she told members of the European Parliament.

However, von der Leyen defended the Commission's oversight of vaccine orders, saying it would have been unfair for the EU single market if just a few large member states had guaranteed doses.

The EU could also not have cut corners in its approval of biological substances injected into people's bodies, even if this lost three to four weeks to rivals, she added.