On Tuesday, the UK began vaccinating citizens against coronavirus. 90-year-old Margaret Keenan was the first to be vaccinated with a vaccine made by BioNTech and Pfizer. Keenan called on her countrymen to participate in the country’s largest-ever vaccination program. European media give their assessment of the British initiative.
Pioneers — and Guinea pigs
Hospodarske news welcomes the fact that it is the British who have become pioneers in such an important matter:
“To some extent, the British in the eyes of the West have now become a kind of Guinea pigs. Their example will decide whether this largest scientific, industrial, and logistical operation was ever undertaken by humanity in the name of its salvation will end in success or failure. Over the next few weeks, we will expect reports from UK hospitals and nursing homes, with a detailed analysis of the problems caused by vaccination. Fortunately, Great Britain has been a pioneer many times before: after all, it was the British who first convened Parliament, invented the steam engine, and became viewers of the first television program in the history of mankind.»
For the benefit of the country’s image
The start of vaccination will benefit the shaken self-esteem of the British, — says La Repubblica:
“Now the UK will have to go its own way in this world, more or less devastated by covid. She will have to go outside the borders of the European Union, which will no longer be able to serve as a refuge for her. . … Given that since the beginning of the pandemic, the UK has made all possible (including fatal) mistakes, it needs more than other European countries to become a center of innovation, efficiency, and initiative again. Britain is driven by a desire to refute the long-standing reproach that the country is pupating and turning into a closed island. Against this background, the country should not behave like a nation with the ambitions of an Imperial superpower. It would be much better to appear in the eyes of the world community as a European state that has something to offer the world — and its own citizens.»