The EU’s unified vaccination strategy broke?

In recent months, due to problems such as insufficient supply of the new crown vaccine, vaccination in Europe has been struggling. Statistics show that only 5.1% of the 450 million people in the EU have received at least one dose of the vaccine. CNN reported on the 3rd that the EU’s strategy of “unifying” procurement and distribution of vaccines for 27 countries is breaking down. Although the European Union denied that its unified vaccination strategy failed on the 2nd, European Council President Michel recently admitted that in terms of vaccination work, the next few weeks will continue to be difficult.

CNN reported that more and more EU member states no longer rely entirely on the EU. Austrian Chancellor Kurz said on the 2nd that because the European Medicines Agency “is too slow to approve vaccines”, Austria and Denmark will cooperate with Israel to develop and produce the second-generation new crown vaccine. Kurtz has previously stated that there should not be any “geopolitical taboos” in the approval of the new crown vaccine. Kurz will visit Israel on the 4th with Danish Prime Minister Frazer Rickson. Frazerriksen said that the EU cannot rely on the new crown vaccine alone, so Denmark and Austria decided to cooperate to obtain more vaccines.

According to the report, the European Medicines Agency has currently approved three new crown vaccines, namely Pfizer vaccine, AstraZeneca vaccine and Modena vaccine. However, EU countries have the right to “act alone” to authorize emergency use of other new crown vaccines in their own countries.

According to a report by German TV on the 3rd, many EU countries criticized the EU for being too slow. The people couldn’t afford to wait and turned to China and Russia to obtain the new crown vaccine. Hungarian Prime Minister Orban told reporters after receiving the China National Medicines vaccine recently, “I will not wait anymore.” It is worth mentioning that Hungary became the first EU country to be vaccinated against China last week. “Like” after the vaccine and thank China Vaccine. Polish President Duda recently expressed his intention to purchase Chinese vaccines.

After the delayed delivery of the purchased Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines, Slovakia approved the emergency use of the Russian “Satellite-V” vaccine on Monday, becoming the second EU country to purchase a Russian vaccine after Hungary. Slovakia stated that it has ordered 2 million doses of the “Satellite-V” vaccine, and half of it is expected to arrive this month to end the country’s surge in confirmed cases of new coronary pneumonia. “Vaccination is not a political issue, but an issue of effectiveness and reliability,” Kovac Zoltan, Secretary of State for International Exchange and Relations of Hungary, said in an interview with CNN. “We see that China is being used in many parts of the world. And Russian vaccines.”

In the face of criticism from member states, the chief spokesperson of the European Commission Eric Mamei insisted on the 2nd that no EU country has clearly stated that it wants to withdraw from the EU’s unified vaccine procurement plan. He said that in a country like Israel with a population of only about 9 million, it is naturally easier for most people to be vaccinated, while the EU has a population of 450 million, and different member states have different medical systems. “You cannot simply apply a model. To the EU”. The latest data released by the Oxford University “Our World Data” project team on the 3rd showed that the vaccination rate of the new crown in Israel was 55.6%, the UK 30.2%, the US 15.5%, and the global average was nearly 2%. Only 5.1% of people in the European Union have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Another European Commission spokesperson, Kesmek, asked member states for understanding at a press conference on the 2nd, saying that the EU’s plan is on the right track and that 150 million doses of vaccines (purchased by the EU) are in production. “By this summer, the vaccination target of 70% of the EU population will be achieved. The President of the European Commission von der Lein and the President of the European Council Michel promised that the production of vaccines in the European Union will accelerate this spring. The European Parliament said on the 3rd that it will set up a special team to supervise the European Commission’s rapid implementation of the vaccine strategy.

Political News Network commented that the rhetoric of senior EU officials appeared to be particularly “empty” in the face of the vaccine that was actually available. Von der Leinen’s previous assumption was that the entire European Union would buy the same vaccine at the same price and be vaccinated at the same time. But now more and more leaders of European Union countries say that “no consensus is needed, a vaccine is needed”.

There are also disagreements within the EU on the issue of launching a “vaccine passport”. Von der Lein said on the 1st that he will propose an “electronic vaccine passport” in March to facilitate the movement of people within the European Union and Schengen countries. According to media reports such as “Deutsche Welle”, countries with developed tourism industries such as Greece strongly support the launch of “vaccine passports”, while countries such as Germany are hesitant to consider issues such as discrimination and personal privacy protection. Outside the European Union, the United States, Singapore, Thailand and many other countries are preparing to use “vaccine passports” as a way to achieve the safe movement of people across borders.