Vaccination in the EU: Profit over people

From the outset, the EU’s vaccination strategy had three goals: Protect the domestic population, strengthen EUropa as an industrial location – and prove to the whole world that Brussels helps.

The first goal has now been met – after four months of “vaccination debacle.” The EU Commission proudly reports that 200 million vaccine doses have been distributed to EU citizens.

Just as many vaccines have been exported. The “Standort (location) EUrope” has made its proof – with the German manufacturer Biontech benefiting most of all. The company expects a whopping 6 billion euros in profits in 2021, reports the Handelsblatt.

The future is also secure. With a new mega-deal for up to 1.8 billion more vaccine doses, German Commission chief von der Leyen has guaranteed the German lab brilliant business until 2023.

A French competitor went away empty-handed. And the British-Swedish company AstraZeneca was booted out. So much for industrial policy. Germany is at least as good at playing the piano as France…

However, the promise of salvation for the rest of the world was not fulfilled. The EU is still reluctant to release the patents on the BionTech vaccine. Chancellor Merkel categorically rules this out, while von der Leyen follows her lead.

In doing so, the EUropaeans are not only opposing their new partner of choice, India, which specializes in generic drugs – but also the USA, which is relying on active vaccine diplomacy.

But the biggest scandal is the failure of Covax. The EU had promised to promote the UN initiative and deliver vaccine to countries in need.

But while the EUropeans are now stocking up for the 3rd and 4th vaccination campaigns, they have not even begun to make good on their promise of solidarity.

So far, just under 60 million vaccine doses have been delivered to 122 countries. By the end of 2021, there should actually be two billion vaccines. Covax still needs about three billion euros to reach its annual target.

But instead of helping out, the EU is protecting its new quasi-monopolist BionTech – and relying on exports. This policy promotes profits and breaks the promise of solidarity.

In the past, this was called profit over people. Today it is called “social market economy”, isn’t it?

Translated with (free version) The original post (in German) is here