SNAPSHOTS

The EU’s Unified Vaccine Strategy Is Starting to Splinter

MIN READMar 3, 2021 | 20:32 GMT

Syringes are seen on a table at a COVID-19 vaccine distribution site in Senftenberg, Germany.

(HANNIBAL HANSCHKE/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Recent moves by EU member states to purchase COVID-19 vaccines unilaterally underscore the limits of the European Union’s centralized inoculation efforts. Such actions will risk complicating the bloc’s ability to generate EU-wide “health certificates” to help boost economic activity within the Continent. They will also open the door for external players like Russia and China to cement their bilateral relations with EU countries -- something Brussels will be mostly powerless in stopping. In late 2020, the European Commission signed contracts with several pharmaceuticals to secure hundreds of millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccines. However, the distribution of vaccines has been slower than expected due to production and logistical problems with the pharmaceutical companies. In recent days several EU member states have announced their own plans to acquire additional COVID-19 vaccines, arguing that the plan crafted by the European Commission is too slow. This is not the first time that EU...

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