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Sunday, 11 April 2021

Vaccine failings cast shadow on EU summit

Duration: 01:52s 1 shares 8 views
Vaccine failings cast shadow on EU summit
Vaccine failings cast shadow on EU summit

European Union leaders are grappling with disputes over its vaccination program, including how far it has fallen behind the United States and Britain.

Matthew Larotonda reports.

Leaders of the European Union met for a virtual summit on Thursday (March 25), in an attempt to grapple with the third wave of coronavirus surging in several of their countries, and the ongoing disputes over their vaccination campaign -- which has fallen far behind the United States and Britain.

It includes their recent threats to halt vaccine exports, namely to the UK.

Hosuk Lee-Makiyama is with the think-tank, the European Centre for International Political Economy, in Stockholm.

He says it could backfire.

"By doing this short term priority, by trying to seize these shipments and trying to provide to your own citizens first, what are you actually achieving?

What can other people do against you?

What kind of other bad behavior are you legitimizing as an EU?

We have to remember that the EU provides quite a lot of legitimacy in the world.

Whatever the EU does is deemed as legitimate and this is where actually a number of countries could, even on vaccines or any future issue, retaliate against the EU by saying 'This is exactly the standard the EU set.'" The EU has administered about 14 vaccine shots for every 100 people, according to the research journal Our World in Data.

Comparatively the UK, which only left the EU last year, has given 46 shots for every 100.

There are also internal disputes.

Some leaders, such as Austria's Chancellor Kurz, allege that the vaccines the EU does have are not being distributed evenly.

France's President Macron has said the failings are because the EU, quote, "didn't shoot for the stars." "That should be a lesson for all of us," he said.

"We were wrong to lack ambition, to lack the madness."

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