The EU has entered into an open controversy with vaccine manufacturers because they were unable to provide the promised supplies on time. Thus, the European Commission demanded that Astrazeneca provide it with the relevant documentation — to check what has spent 336 million euros, once allocated as an advance on the development and production of the vaccine. There is also talk of restricting vaccine exports from EU countries. What are the reasons for the supply disruptions?
Spare no effort — and don’t be stingy!
Why can’t the EU get the pandemic under control,” Die Presse never ceases to wonder:
“On the second day after taking office, Joe Biden issued a special wartime decree ordering all ministries to compel American companies to produce masks, tests, protective clothing, and equipment. Fifty billion dollars was earmarked for the testing program and $20 billion for the vaccination program. Biden’s motto: a hundred million vaccinations in a hundred days! … So why is this kind of inoculation patriotism alien to the European Union? What prevents the allocation of a total of 20 billion dollars from the 750 billion economic recovery fund — and directing it to spur vaccine production? Why not oblige the pharmaceutical companies to outsource the production of vaccines to other manufacturers when they themselves — in their own words — are unable to cope with such a demanding task?
There are no miracles
According to the Hospodrske news newspaper, complaints about vaccine supply problems stem from inflated expectations:
“The EU has ordered hundreds of millions of doses of vaccine and thus has done more than each of its member states could have done individually. Consequently, this has also caused high expectations, which, however, far exceed production and logistics capabilities. … The hope that vaccines will work a miracle is enormous. Of course, the authorities — and not for the first time during a pandemic — have made a mess of things. Vaccine production and distribution is an enormous international challenge, one that mankind has never faced before. So it would be surprising if everything went smoothly here. »
The EU’s Position is Impertinent
Der Tagesspiegel makes no secret of its indignation at the attitude of the European Commission, which is trying to shift the blame onto the producers:
“It borders on insolence, to put it mildly. Who gets how many vaccines — and in what time frame? How many glass flasks are prepared? How many refrigeration containers are there? How will transportation be handled? Requirements do not only exist at the national level. … That is why the European Union itself should deal with this issue. … And we have to act in a focused and organized way, as if in the General Staff. … What was achieved during the pandemic, when breakthrough innovations were developed in the shortest possible time, borders on the miraculous. But what the European Union allows itself against this background is, at best, astonishing.”
EU countries have no one to blame but themselves
Brussels is too clumsy,” says the Wiener Zeitung:
“From Brussels, there are recurring complaints — and often with good reason — that there are primal political instincts in the community that prioritize quick successes over a long-term perspective that would be aimed at the common good of all Europe… Perhaps manufacturers also feel that the time factor is not of paramount importance to Europeans. There are reports that neither the U.S. nor the U.K. will face supply delays, but the European Union will. … It must be a nightmare for the EU to think that some of its member states — and too many of their citizens — might conclude that the crisis could have been handled far better without Brussels than with it.”