The European Union is ready to help drug companies expand coronavirus vaccine production to clear a “bottleneck” in distribution, European Health commissioner Stella Kyriakides said.

A top health official told news agency DPA that any delay in getting approved vaccines out was down to production capacity shortage, not EU planning. “The bottleneck at the moment is not the volume of orders but the worldwide shortage of production capacity,” she declared.

Kyriakides noted that Brussels had provided €100 million to German firm BioNTech, which developed a vaccine with US giant Pfizer, to help build production capacity.

And she said that the bloc was ready to do more, for Pfizer-BioNTech and other companies with candidate vaccines, as the vaccination campaign gets into gear.“If all vaccine candidates are approved, Europe will have more than two billion doses of vaccine available for all 450 million Europeans and their neighbors,” Kyriakides said.