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The BMA accuses the government of “undermining the confidence of the public and the profession in the immunization program” by denying people the second dose they expected. One could argue that the BMA itself undermines trust with standardized procedural arguments that are almost absurd in the current emergency.

We now have the makings of a deplorable situation in Europe. The Commission has engaged in health policy – beyond its conventional mandate or technical competence – and has made a royal hash of the EU’s vaccine strategy. He haggled over prices. It has dug its heels on legal liability, unlike the UK and US governments which have made the political decision to waive normal demands. He put insignificant sums up front to advance vaccine production.

The mix of bureaucracy and unanimity rule among 27 states has led to paralysis. The centralist model has once again proved unworkable in a rapidly evolving crisis, but this time people will die.

It goes without saying that no EU official has ever offered an apology or admission clue that something is wrong. There never is. The Commission is always right. He handled the eurozone debt crisis beautifully eight years ago on his own.

Instead, Brussels opted for a scapegoat strategy: blaming the vaccine companies, with a chorus of support from some of Opera Buffa’s figures in European politics, led by Italian soprano Giuseppe Conte.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo has tried to cripple this scientifically illiterate witch hunt by reminding his EU colleagues that making vaccines is not as easy as “baking bread”. In vain. The saviors became villains overnight. The brilliant achievement of cracking a coronavirus vaccine in less than a year is almost forgotten.

We do not yet know exactly why AstraZeneca is unable to meet the doses planned for Europe. The facts will come out soon enough. What we do know is that the EU is preparing to activate force majeure allow it – in extremis – restrict exports of Pfizer vaccine and potentially restrict components of the AstraZeneca vaccine supply chain manufactured in the UK itself.

Can we wake up to find that the UK is under a de facto blockade of critical medical components in the midst of a pandemic? This is not out of the question. Politics have come a long way since Wuhan.

Read more: The vaccine blame game in central Europe

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This notice was published: 2021-01-26 14:05:33