Anorak News | Covid: failing EU vows war with US and UK – Ursula von der Leyen ignores German rule breaking

Covid: failing EU vows war with US and UK – Ursula von der Leyen ignores German rule breaking

by | 25th, March 2021

The European Union has been accused of “vaccine nationalism”. It wants to stop vaccines made in the EU zone from leaving for other counties, even if non-EU countries have placed legitimate orders with private companies making the stuff. For the UK, it would mean less of the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines reaching us.

Ursula von der Leyen, current head of the European Commission (another bureaucrat EU citizens never voted for) says 77 million vaccines were sent from companies operating in the EU to the UK but she is “not aware” of any vaccines coming the other way. That this is mainly because the EU government failed to get its act together and order enough seems to escaped the posh former German defence minister, who also says AstraZeneca must “catch up” on its promised deliveries to the EU before exporting doses elsewhere – even if the EU ordered it much later than other customers – and said it was potentially sub-standard and should not be used, thus causing further delays. Just 14% of the EU population have received the jab, compared with 47% in the UK.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) tested the drug and said it works and is safe. As a result of the EU crass and craven behaviour, EU countries have been reporting hundreds of thousands of unused doses because of a drop in public confidence in the jab.

The big stuff up is because the EU turned a health emergency into a political opportunity, asking all 27 member states to join a scheme giving the EU central responsibility for buying vaccines. They did. And the EU has let them down.

Under the terms of the EU scheme, member states must not to do deals with any vaccine manufacturer with whom the EU already has an agreement. But lest you do not still realise which country runs the EU, Germany signed its own side-deal with Pfizer for 30 million extra doses in September. The European Commission declined to say whether this had broken the terms of the EU scheme.

The EU is fracturing. Hungary and Slovakia have bought Russia’s Sputnik vaccine. Austria and Denmark are working with Israel to produce second-generation vaccines against mutations of the coronavirus.

“The company (AZ)… has to honour the contract it has with member states,” says von der Leyen. She’s lashing out to cover her failures. She should check the order books and see how far down it the EU is. One former president of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, says the EU must end the “stupid vaccine war” with the UK. “This cannot be dealt with in a war atmosphere. We are not in war, and we are not enemies.” He says the row will cause “major reputational damage” to the EU. The UK is out. Other nations will surely agitate to leave the bloc. The war is on. The EU is being hammered.

“I think it is clear that first of all the company has to catch up,” Mrs von der Leyen told a news conference after the virtual leaders summit. “[It] has to honour the contract it has with European member states before it can engage again in exporting vaccines. We want to explain to our European citizens that they [can] get their fair share.” She wants to tell them that the inefficient, sluggish EU did not fail and everything will be ok because they will now queue jump and punish the counties that did act quickly. Nice way to behave. The other part of the EU’s attack on decency is French President Emmanuel Macron. He says: “I support the fact that we must block all exports for as long as some drug companies don’t respect their commitments with Europeans.” What a load of toffee.

AstraZeneca works with suppliers in 15 counties. It says the UK had not received any vaccines or components from the EU – apart from one “tiny” batch from a plant in Leiden, the Netherlands.

The EU is playing games. It can only lose:

The Pfizer jab is mostly made in Puurs in Belgium, and a manufacturing site has also been set up in the German town of Marburg.

The UK has ordered 40 million doses. The company says these deliveries are on track, but did not comment on whether they could be affected by EU export controls.

In Europe, the Moderna vaccine is produced in Switzerland and put into vials in Spain – the UK has ordered 17 million doses.

The Janssen jab is made in the Netherlands – the UK has ordered 30 million doses.

Vaccines may be produced in one place but “filled and finished” – put into vials and prepared for export – in another.

And some components used in making the vaccine may be made at yet another location. For example, the UK company Croda is supplying a component to Pfizer to make its vaccine.

Brexit. Still think it was a bad idea? And will companies making drugs in the protectionist EU now consider setting up in Mexico, Israel, Turkey or Australia, say? And if not, why not? What does the EU offer? Reuters quotes the EU as demanding the UK exports vaccines “as it does”. It doesn’t. Companies operating in the EU zone do in terms dictated by the EU. The EU makes nothing. Given the EU’s weak behaviour, companies would be excused for rethinking their futures in the zone.

Posted: 25th, March 2021 | In: News, Politicians Comment | TrackBack | Permalink