The EU’s vaccine procurement programme is in deepening trouble. Supply problems at Pfizer’s Belgian plant and AstraZeneca’s announcement that its first quarter delivery to the bloc would be 75 million doses less than expected have only made matters worse. While the UK has now vaccinated 11 per cent of its population and the US has managed seven per cent, the EU figure is just two per cent.

But how exactly has the EU managed to get it so wrong?

First of all, it’s important to understand how the EU went about procuring its vaccines.

The European Commission negotiates deals with individual vaccine producers on behalf of all EU countries. Member states must then approve the deals before they’re signed.