It hasn’t gone away, despite Brexit, despite the fight against covid
Covid and covid mass vaccination is used by unscrupulous politicians to promote and enforce their ideology. The usual suspects can no longer claim that this is just another anti-lockdown conspiracy theory. I’m referring of course to the latest EU attempt to force us back under Brussels’ boots, using mass vaccination and vaccine production as welcome means of revenge for Brexit.
It’s about the EU’s decision to block exports of both the Pfizer and the Oxford/AstraZeneca (O/AZ) vaccine to the UK. Both have production facilities in Belgium. Our MSM report on this – but keep in mind though that the Brussels correspondent of the DT is a dyed-in-the-wool Remainer and that The Times is of course RemainCentral. First, the DT:
“Britain’s Covid vaccine supply is in jeopardy after the EU threatened to block exports of the Belgian-made Pfizer jabs amid a row with UK-based AstraZeneca. Brussels decided to impose tighter controls on exports after reacting with fury to the news that AstraZeneca will deliver 50 million fewer doses to the EU than it had expected.” (paywalled link)
RemainCentral is a bit more precise, hinting at the true reason for this astonishing intervention. Note that this isn’t just about the O/AZ vaccine:
“The European Union has told Pfizer and other drug companies that they must secure its permission before exporting vaccine doses to Britain amid concerns about the level of supply. Brussels announced plans yesterday for new controls on the export of vaccines in response to public anger at the slow pace of immunisation programmes in the EU. Companies will have to provide “early notification” of exports of all vaccines manufactured in the bloc to try to prevent shortages.” (link, paywalled)
As the mass vaccination campaign got off to a bad start in EU countries, France especially lagging behind in that race, there have been multiple reports in German papers that the fabulous EU ‘vaccine programme’ was to blame. In the autumn of 2020, Brussels placed orders not just for the Pfizer and Oxford vaccines but also for those developed by the French Pharma giant Sanofi and the German firm Curevac. Macron and Merkel demanded it.
Pfizer was the first to get approval by various government health organisations, allowing them to start production. Vaccination started here in the UK in the first week of December. The EU gave their permit only after Christmas so were at the back of the queue, with fewer doses while we had already month of vaccine roll-out.
The howls of outraged, lockdowned EU citizens was mighty. Yes, they blamed Macron and Merkel and Ms vdLeyen. And it must have been bitter for the EU bosses to read comments that the UK was so much better off in regard to mass vaccination than the EU, thanks to Brexit. Clearly something needed to be done, and this is how they’re doing it, using Brussels bureaucracy:
“EU health chiefs demanded drug firms give them early warning when exporting Covid vaccines to countries outside the bloc – including to Britain. The new edict means American firm Pfizer – which has a vaccine manufacturing plant in Belgium – will now need to tell EU chiefs when it wants to export its BioNtech jab to the UK, raising fears such exports could be blocked or delayed.” (link)
Last week there were already rumours that both Pfizer and O/AZ were facing difficulties in supplying the UK with the doses already ordered (paywalled link). It’s a ‘production bottleneck’ we were told, arising because those firms had to enlarge their capacities. Perhaps these managers were already aware of the EU Health Commissioner’s planned interference?
There’s one other aspect to this. While the O/AZ vaccine hasn’t yet been approved by the EU, there’s what looks to be a concerted campaign against that vaccine which was started in German publications (my emphasis):
“Two German newspapers reported sources in Berlin saying EU experts have found the UK-made Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine is only eight percent effective in pensioners. […] More concerning for EU health chiefs is their apparent discovery, the exact nature of which remained unclear today, that the AstraZeneca jab fails to adequately protect pensioners. […] Well-respected financial newspaper Handelsblatt and tabloid Bild both quoted sources in the federal government as saying the AZ jab was less than 10% effective in over-65s. The papers said German officials now fear the European Medicines Agency (EMA), the EU’s medicine regulator, may not approve giving the Oxford vaccine to such people.” (link)
This has of course nothing at all to do with the various German Laender governments being woefully inadequate in their vaccination drive – as German papers have been reporting since the beginning of this year. Of course, it must also be untrue that they are trying to veil their inadequacies behind their ‘concern’ that the vaccine mightn’t work. Here’s the reply by O/AZ:
“An AstraZeneca spokesperson said: ‘Reports that the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine efficacy is as low as 8 per cent in adults over 65 are absolutely incorrect. In the UK the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JVCI) supported use in the population and the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) included this group without dose adjustment in the authorisation for emergency supply. In November we published details in The Lancet demonstrating that older showed immune responses to the vaccine, with 100 per cent of older adults generating spike-specific antibodies after the second dose.” (link)
Clearly, these are horrible UK institutions, The Lancet is a tiny, insignificant medical journal: how could they possibly withstand the might of the EU which still hasn’t given permission for that vaccine to be used! Now see how the mighty EU Health Commissioner has been ‘dealing’ with this:
“The EU’s health commissioner, Stella Kyriakides, summoned AstraZeneca bosses to a series of video meetings on Monday at which she made clear that their explanations for the reduction in doses were unacceptable. […] She also demanded that AstraZeneca produces a list of how many doses it has provided to each country – information both the company and Downing Street have been desperate to keep under wraps.” (link, paywalled)
RemainCentral doesn’t tell us why BJs government and O/AZ have been ‘desperate’ to keep this information under wraps but hey, they’re secretive so there must be summink wrong, right? Something called ‘commercial confidentiality’ doesn’t apply when the EU is on their high horse. It’s also irrelevant that a firm won’t start mass production when it hasn’t even got permission to produce and sell what they make. The Financial Times had a report three days ago, mentioning the reason for the delay:
“Details of the revised first-quarter deliveries to the EU were still being worked out but they could be less than 40m, several European officials said. Part of the reason for the uncertainty is that the provisional timetables are dependent on when the vaccine receives regulatory approval, which could happen next week.” (paywalled link)
That would now be this week, nearly two months after the Pfizer vaccine had been approved, outside the EU. It couldn’t possibly be the case that the EU is trying to blame O/AZ for their dilatory approach to give emergency permission to produce the vaccine, could it! The reason for the sudden ‘news’ that the vaccine isn’t effective must also be purely coincidental! Here’s another piece of news – totally irrelevant, naturally! It was hidden in a report on Dutch people rioting about their sharpened lockdown restrictions:
“Meanwhile hopes that vaccines might provide a quick way out of the crisis all-but faded after France’s Pasteur Institute was forced to scrap a jab it had been developing with US drug-maker Merck because it doesn’t work. The news came as AstraZeneca – whose jab has yet to be approved by EU regulators – announced it was cutting vaccine supplies to the continent by up to 60 per cent because of problems with supply chains, thought to be due to under-production at a factory in Belgium.” (link)
One wonders if these supply-chain problems might possibly have something to do with EU bureaucracy. We do know that the EU states aren’t wimpish when it comes to interpret bureaucratic ‘rulz’ as punitively to anything relating to the UK as they possibly can.
I can’t help wondering if this sudden lack of vaccines which were already budgeted for in the EU’s plan of ‘vaccines for all’ is the reason for the sudden attempts by the EU to blame O/AZ and for their bureaucracy to kick into high gear. Expect more ‘bad news’ from Brussels in regard to vaccine production, ahem: export:
“Ms Kyriakides said an “export transparency mechanism” would be put in place “as soon as possible”, which would mean that “in future all companies producing vaccines against Covid-19 in the EU will have to provide early notification whenever they want to export vaccines to third countries”. (link)
Never mind why Brussels suddenly wants to know beforehand to which Non-EU countries the Pharma companies will export their vaccines. I’m not aware of any similar demands for any other stuff being exported from the EU. Of course, this will also affect the Pfizer vaccine:
“Ministers now fear deliveries of the Pfizer jabs will – at best – be delayed by extra paperwork and that the EU could try to stop doses being sent to non-EU countries after saying it will “take any action required to protect its citizens”. (paywalled link)
Jolly good – only, we’re no longer ‘EU citizens’, are we! Furthermore, this isn’t the first time something like that has happened – at least the DT, unlike RemainCentral, mentions it, also reporting that some MPs understand what the EU is doing and why:
“In March, the bloc imposed export restrictions on personal protective equipment after it struggled with supply to its member states. On Monday night, MPs accused the EU of acting out of “spite” and trying to deflect blame for its own mistakes in getting vaccination programmes off the ground.” (paywalled link)
Indeed so – but don’t expect Remainers to mention this. We can say in conclusion that yes, the EU is putting ideology and ‘punish perfidious Albion for Brexit’ above the health of their own as well as our people. The EU seems hell-bent on thwarting mass vaccination for their own people for which they allegedly care so much, by blaming their own shortcomings on us and on Brexit. Remainers ought to take a hard look at how well (not!) the mighty EU has done in their mass vaccination drive before they also blame this on Brexit.
I find this EU performance utterly disgusting, nay: sickening. Using their bureaucracy, the EU denies all of us, here and across the Channel, the freedom from lockdown which those politicians are dangling in front of our noses. Let’s never forget that.