LETTER: EU in vaccine disarray
The bloc has hardly dealt well with the roll-out and preparations for it
Humans are an ungrateful species. No sooner had vaccines been developed miraculously for Covid-19 in record time than the blame game started over their “slow” roll-out.
While the SA government has understandably come in for criticism, it seems the EU’s report card is even worse.
After insisting that the EU be in charge of vaccine procurement, it was only at the 11th hour that the main supplier, AstraZeneca, admitted that its vaccine production would be 60% less than agreed. In the meantime, recently departed UK had received millions of doses, including from AstraZeneca, which were being administered to all and sundry. The optics couldn’t have been worse.
Hungary has now broken ranks to buy the Sputnik vaccine from hated Russia. The French, whose president insisted on a locally made vaccine, may have to wait until the end of 2021 for their jabs.
AstraZeneca’s top management have been scapegoated by European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and her unelected companions, but it is hard to see how they can escape unscathed. It won’t be long before the EU hierarchy and its 26 remaining members are fighting like cats in a sack. Meanwhile, none of them cares a toss about their poor African neighbours. Africa is good enough to absorb their surplus production, but when it comes to vaccines it’s every country for itself.
While the crazy euro currency system has so far failed to bring down the EU house of cards, the Covid-19 vaccine debacle may well succeed. For if the Brussels bureaucracy cannot get this vital job right, members will question its raison d’etre.
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