Fri. Feb 26th, 2021

By RAF CASERT and MIKE Coder, Associated Press

APELDOORN, Netherlands (AP) – Jose Beveveld had a spring in his step when the 91-year-old Dutchman received a coronavirus vaccine this week. But many think it was a very long way to come.

About two months ago, Britain’s Margaret Keenan, now 91, got her shot at kicking off the UK vaccination campaign, which has so far surpassed efforts in several countries in the European Union.

“We depend on what the European Commission says we can and cannot do.” As a result, we are at the bottom of the list, it takes too long, “said the executive arm of the European Union, which has perhaps wrongly borne criticism for the slow rollout in many of its members. States. Some rules and paperwork in some countries and planning delays for others have also contributed, as did the more deliberate authorization process for shots.

Overall, the 27-nation European Union, a collection of many of the world’s richest countries – most with a universal health care system to boot – is not far off compared to countries like Israel and the United Kingdom. Even the United States, whose response to the epidemic has been widely criticized and where thousands of appointments for shots have been canceled due to the lack of a vaccine, are moving fast.

While Israel has given at least one shot of a two-dose vaccine to more than 40% of its population and the UK has the figure at 10%, the EU has just 2% overall.

And it is not just EU citizens who are placing the blame on the block door. Criticism is also coming from many nations who expected the European Union to see some living-saving liquid through their borders.

The rich worry that the rich countries had shattered far more than they needed and the poor nations would be left to do so, expecting vaccines to be shared around the EU.

The Rocky rollout is also testing a commitment to so-called soft power – policies that advance its cause not through gun barrels but through peaceful means, such as through the needle of a syringe.

“The vaccine is harder to obtain than nuclear weapons today,” said Alexander Vusic, the president of the Serb, who was counting on too much help from the European Union.

Serbia sits at the center of the Balkan region, where the European Union, Russia and even China want to gain a foothold. Helping Balkan countries in their vaccine rollout seems to be an area where Europe wishes to prioritize its medical skills and such cooperation.

Wekick said weeks ago when he welcomed 1 million doses of Chinese vaccines that Serbia had not received a “single dose” from the global COVAX system, aimed at getting cheap shots to poor and middle-income countries, which The EU championed and funded.

Instead, Vysic stated that Serbia obtained vaccines through deals with individual countries or producers.

Rubbing salt in the wound, Vucic went to the social conscience of the European Union when he said this week that “the world is like a Titanic today.” The rich tried to get lifeboats only for themselves … and left the rest. “Other countries on the southeastern rim of the European Union have also been critical.

This is a major change from only a month ago when the future of the European Union looked quite bright. It had launched a last-minute trade deal with the United Kingdom, a massive 1.8 trillion-euro pandemic recovery and overall budget deal and began commissioning its first COVID-19 vaccines.

Ursula von der Leyen, the chairman of the European Commission, said at the time, “To end this difficult year, and finally turn the page on COVID-19 is a very good way.”

By this past weekend, however, her attitude had soured as it became clear that the block would receive vaccines at a slower rate than agreed to for 450 million people.

AstraZeneca has told the European Union that in its initial batch of 80 million, only 31 million would immediately apply the vaccine when its vaccine was approved, on Friday. He came on the heels of a small foul in the delivery of the Pfizer-BioNotech shot.

Both companies say they are experiencing operational problems at the plant that are temporarily delaying the rollout.

Italy is threatening to take legal action against both of them late. Italian premier Giuseppe Conte was claiming that the country’s rollout was a huge success, especially when the tenth dose of Jana. Was given at 15. But after Pfizer announced temporary supply cuts, Italy had tried to reduce the 80,000 dose to 30,000 a day.

Bulgaria has also criticized pharmaceutical companies, and some people there have called for Russia and China to turn to vaccines.

Hungary is already doing so. “If vaccines are not coming from Brussels, then we have to get them from elsewhere. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said that Hungary could not die simply because Brussels was too slow in procuring vaccines. “It doesn’t matter whether the cat is black or white, as long as it catches mice.”

But supply is not the only EU campaign to catch up. The problem is partly that the European Union Commission placed bets on the wrong horse – and did not get enough doses of early success vaccines like Pfizer-BioNotech. The commission notes that there was no way to know which vaccines would be successful – and which would be the first – and so it would have to spread its orders across multiple companies.

The EU rollout was also slowed as the European Medicines Agency took longer than US or UK regulators to authorize its first vaccine. This was by design as it ensured that member nations could not be held accountable in case of problems and to convince people that the shot was safe.

But individual countries also share in the blame.

Germany, Europe is found as an organized and well-organized nation, with its rollout due to chaotic bureaucracy and technological failures, as seen on Monday, told more than 80 thousands of people in the country’s largest state Went that they would have to wait. By February 8, to get their first shots, even as huge vaccine centers evacuated before Christmas.

“Our pace of action leaves a lot to be desired,” Chancellor Angela Merkel said. “Processes often become very bureaucratic and take a long time, so we’ll have to work on that.”

This is no different in France, where there is a Kafkaesque maze of rules for obtaining consent to vaccinate the elderly.

In the Netherlands, which was available on the readily available AstraZeneca vaccine, previously available, officials had to scramble to create new plans for the Pfizer-BioNotech vaccine, whose ultraholds make storage requirements more complex.

“We proved to be insufficiently flexible to make changes,” said Health Minister Hugo de Jonge.

The Dutch have been particularly criticized because they were the last in the European Union to begin vaccinations, more than a week after being given the first shot in the block, and they continue to roll up the dose for elderly people living at home. Have been particularly slow for, such as Beveveld, a retiree.

He said, “I am already playing at an injured time in my age.” But I still want to play a few more years. “

Report of the dessert from Brussels. AP journalists contributed to the European Union.

Epidemic coverage of AP follow: https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This content may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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