We are not in a race over vaccines, says EU's Von der Leyen

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European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen addresses European lawmakers, in Brussels

BERLIN (Reuters) - The head of the European Commission rejected suggestions that Europe was in a race to vaccinate its population against the coronavirus faster than other countries, saying that it was important to cooperate at this stage of the pandemic.

The European Union's civil service is under fire over the slow pace of vaccination in the bloc, with critics pointing to faster progress being made in Britain, Israel and the United States as evidence of a planning failure in Brussels.

"I think the only race we are in is with the virus and against time," Ursula von der Leyen told German television on Sunday evening, adding that she had agreed with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson that factories in both regions would deliver doses to each region.

(Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Daniel Wallis)