Published on : 05/01/2021 – 11:30
The slowness of the vaccination campaign is controversial in France, one of the countries most behind in its program. This question also arises in Germany or the United Kingdom where the shortage of vaccine is blamed. Whose fault is it ?
The first “suspects” are the last governments to place their vaccine orders. We can see that the campaign is much more advanced in the United States, Israel, and at United Kingdom, three countries where the signing of contracts was extremely rapid. Three countries where the Covid is raging, three countries also where the leaders have been pushed by their political agenda, the presidential election for Donald Trump, an election looming for Benjamin Netanyahu and Brexit for Boris Johnson. As of the summer, the United States will reserve 100 million doses for Moderna. In mid-November, Israel and the United Kingdom in turn signed firm contracts. This is also the case for Canada and Japan.
On the other hand in the European Union the drug authority takes its time to authorize new vaccines
A very bureaucratic slowness suggested Stéphane Bancel, the boss of Moderna in mid-November. He then issued a very clear warning: this delay will have no consequences on the total quantity but on the delivery schedule.
The Commission finally ordered a few days later, but the European Medicines Authority has still not given the green light, it should intervene if all goes well within 48 hours. This weekend the boss of the German Biotech who developed with Pfizer the first Arn vaccine authorized in the United States is more brutal. He accuses the 27 of having relied too much on European vaccines, that of Sanofi-GSK which suffered a significant delay and that ofAstraZeneca. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s scientific adviser, for her part, believes that the Commission made an error in the quantities ordered from the various laboratories. To silence the controversy, the German Minister of Health, Jens Spahn, who is eyeing the succession of the Chancellor, is preparing to order at the national level because in Germany where the logistics are perfectly oiled, it is the lack of doses that slows down injections.
Is the industry to blame?
This is the charge brought by Boris Johnson to explain that it was impossible to make a second injection within three weeks. And rejected by Pfizer and AstraZeneca: the labs ensure that they are able to fulfill orders and that they will continue to produce at a sustained rate. Difficult today to see clearly between the incomplete figures provided by the British administration and the allegations of the industrialists.
According to experts, bottlenecks seem inevitable, not necessarily in the manufacture of the product but in its packaging, due to the lack of a suitable bottle or cap, or in its control, which must be extremely careful. The industry is making an extraordinary effort, never before have so many vaccines been created and produced so quickly. Slowdowns are inevitable, even in the most advanced countries, Israel should take a break while waiting for more lots from Pfizer.
What are the consequences of these delays?
In the fight against this devastating pandemic for health and the economy, every day counts. The aim of vaccination is to regain normal activity. It is only when a country is rid of the Covid that it manages to bounce back. It is therefore urgent to vaccinate to get out of the worst economic crisis the planet has known. Support for the French economy costs the state more than a billion euros every day.
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