The EU has failed to deal with the coronacrisis on some points. Commissioner Von der Leyen admitted this in the European Parliament and hopes to put a line under the arguments of recent weeks.
The German people have come under heavy fire especially in their own country for the slow start of the European vaccination campaign. “The fact is that today we are not where we want to be in the fight against the virus”, says VDL Wednesday. She said that the EU has been too slow to approve vaccines and too optimistic about production. “Maybe we were too sure that the orders would be delivered on time,” she added.
The EU was slower in approving PFIZER/BionTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines than the US and the UK. But the story was always that no bends could be cut off and a careful approval procedure of drug watchdog EMA had to be followed. The British, for example, approved vaccines with an emergency procedure and took on the legal consequences for side effects. A more risky strategy, but one that has put them at the head start.
According to Von der Leyen, 26 million vaccines have now been distributed in the EU. The goal is still to have 70 percent of the population of almost 450 million people vaccinated by the end of the summer. The ambitious objective was formulated just before almost three weeks ago a massive quarrel with AstraZeneca ignited after the pharmaceutical company reported as a thunder by the clear sky that he could supply not even half of the 80 million vaccines promised for the first quarter .
Von der Leyen mainly points to external factors as a reason for the slow start. Starting up production lines takes a lot of time. A new task force, led by Commissioner Breton (Internal Market), is to help solve the problems, for example by making companies work together. The French Sanofi will now produce for example for Pfizer/BionTech. For this reason, the forced sharing of patents or knowledge, especially the left in the European Parliament, is still a bridge too far.
The Group of the European Peoples Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats, the largest group, wants to allocate EUR 10 billion to speed up the production The subject will be an important topic at the next European summit of leaders in March.