There’s a ‘Vaccine War’ Happening in Europe
The European Union Covid-19 vaccine campaign was bad, it’s now turned much worse
A Tale of two cities
Days after opening its gates, the largest Covid-19 vaccination center in Berlin, Germany, had to close down due to lack of doses. Merely 321 miles away in the city of Mainz, stands a building full of glass windows, and a large sign in its entrance saying, “Büro- und Laborgebäude” — offices and laboratories. At the bottom part of the sign, in green letters, appears the name of the company: BioNTech.
At this place, the biotechnology company headquarters, the idea, and research for the Covid-19 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine were born. This vaccine is now out of stock in the Berlin center, and many other centers throughout Germany.
Things got so bad that the most popular German publication Bild ran a headline saying: “That’s how Germany became a vaccine snail.” In Europe, Germany is not alone.
The European fiasco
Saying that the European Union vaccination campaign is a disaster would be an understatement. It’s going terribly, terribly, wrong. While Israel has now almost vaccinated a third of its population, the U.K. has vaccinated 7.4 million people, and the U.S. is inoculating a million people a day, countries in the European Union are lagging far behind.
So why is this happening? There are several reasons.
The European Union decided, in an act of solidarity and financial benefit, to manage the negotiation and vaccine purchase as a single body. Not allowing every single country to approach the manufacturers on its own. This meant that the EU has a huge consumer-power, with 450 million citizens in the continent, and leaders were hoping to get a better deal for it.
It was also a declaration of solidarity. A message saying that no country in the union would be left behind. The rich and powerful Germany would receive the same deal as Greece. The two countries would start vaccinating on the same day.