What fun

On the face of it, the EU has locked in far more vaccines than it needs: the European commission has secured a portfolio of more than 2.3bn doses, which is more than five times the EU’s 450 million population. It has contracts with five different vaccine makers: not only AstraZeneca, but Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and CureVac. It has also wrapped up exploratory talks with Novavax and Valneva.

A year into the pandemic and they’re still on exploratory talks?

21 thoughts on “What fun”

  1. Bloke in North Dorset

    Don’t they have telephones in Brussels?

    However, the EU approach came with strings. The commission, negotiating for the first time on vital medicines, felt that EU countries would demand value for money, so it dragged out the talks to secure better prices and product liability guarantees. That meant it signed the contracts with AstraZeneca in August, three months after the UK’s contract.

    Or is this a case that once the EU has grabbed a competency it doesn’t really care what the member states think?

    And slightly OT, it looks like they’ve decided who’s going to be thrown under the bus and [drumroll] surprise, surprise, it isn’t vdL:

    European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen sought to deflect the blame for a humiliating U-turn over vaccine export controls, saying that one of her deputies had been responsible for the controversial regulation.

    The commission sparked outrage in the U.K. and Ireland on Friday when it released proposals for controls on shipments of vaccines from the EU into Northern Ireland, undermining its own commitment during Brexit negotiations to keeping the Irish border open. The plan was abruptly dropped hours later.

    “What I can tell you is that there is one cabinet which was lead on this, that is Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis because he is in charge of trade,” the commission’s chief spokesman Eric Mamer told reporters in Brussels on Monday. “This regulation falls under the responsibility of Mr. Dombrovskis and his cabinet and of course the services of the commission which respond to him.”

    I’ll bet you didn’t see that one coming?

  2. Why are they planning to order five times as many doses than they need, or 2.5 times if each individual needs two shots?

  3. @Stonyground

    Probably waste. If it takes them this long to reach the end of talks just wait until they are told the vaccine is ready and they realise they havnt sorted out any logistics, any cold storage nor told the members this stuff is coming.

  4. EU prioritised value over speed. Boris speed over value. Have to say, considering they’ll be exam questions on this for years to come, the evaluation cycle isn’t over. However at present it looks like Boris’s judgement call the better one for the UK resident folks. The first major evaluation for Boris’ll be in the next general election. We may find by then a few dud contracts were signed in haste as well as paying off the expensive but efficacious ones will dampen the current contrast. The interesting thing to me is not (just) the individuals per se but the performance of the EU commission system versus UK cabinet parliamentary democratic system. I still think the EU commission will double down and use any failing to increase centralised powers and budgets. However will national politicians who face loss of office and power and a diminished legacy go along with it or will they or their rivals smell the café and start to actually reform the EU in a different direction.

  5. ” However will national politicians who face loss of office and power and a diminished legacy go along with it or will they or their rivals smell the café and start to actually reform the EU in a different direction.”
    With Macron now having the fragrantly “far right” Marine nipping closely at his heels, you’d think so. But one should never underestimate the stupidity of politicians. They’ve still enormous reserves to draw on.

  6. When lockdowns cost tens to hundreds of billions a day (at national or continental level respectively) how much you piss away on vaccine prices or bad PPE contracts is an irrelevance. Well, the amount that anyone has pissed away on them is because they’ve not spent trillions now, have they?

  7. “when lockdowns cost 10-100 billions a day how much you piss away….” yes wholly agree but still politics has a way of getting caught in the weeds.

  8. “Why are they planning to order five times as many doses than they need, or 2.5 times if each individual needs two shots?”

    To take care of the population growth (endogenous + imported) that will have happened before they get their shit together.

  9. EU prioritised value over speed. Boris speed over value.

    Just a minor but relevant pendantry; I think speed-over-price rather than value. An effective vaccine delivered quickly is what is valuable. Given the alternative as just mentioned by Tim, it’s a price worth paying. It seems our twats even managed to think ahead and organise the distribution pretty well, too. Amazing, though I think the army was involved.

    What’s the betting that the EU leviathan is busy botching that aspect too?

  10. Pjf- yes, i award you a pennant. May it swing low.

    and i have to say the more i read and discover the more i think that Kate Bingham was the absolute genius pivotal appointment. The woman’s a bloody dynamo that appears to have been absolutely crafted to step in to the breach at our time of need.

    https://youtu.be/bojFncCB82k?t=77 — this is in 2017 trade fair.

    “needs to be lead by a CEO who is in a hurry. Because somebody who comes with a bureaucratic mindset to want to dot every t and cross every i before they do anything….is not going to work in biotec. “

  11. Bloke in North Dorset

    HB

    and i have to say the more i read and discover the more i think that Kate Bingham was the absolute genius pivotal appointment.

    +100

    Was it you that posted her CV on here last year when the MSM and ant-Boris crowd were have a pile on over her appointment?

    Whoever it was, thanks, because I’ve used it a few times to point out to various anti government types (invariably remainers) that the strategy owes a lot to her and what a good appointment it was. It normally stops them in their tracks, but you can’t get them to acknowledge it was a good appointment.

  12. ” the more i read and discover the more i think that Kate Bingham was the absolute genius pivotal appointment. The woman’s a bloody dynamo that appears to have been absolutely crafted to step in to the breach at our time of need.”

    If the vaccines she has procured from under the noses of the entire world do what they say on the tin and get us out of the hole we have dug ourselves into, then she deserves the same treatment we used to give victorious military leaders – an hereditary Dukedom and a massive pile in the country courtesy of a grateful nation……..

  13. “Was it you that posted her CV on here last year?”! No i’m late to it. I have trouble summoning up the blood to read further when i see a headline- government appoints x to head “task force”. But you’re right it was seen as contravertial, which in my book makes it even more genius. You can still find talking heads on utub you’ve found out she’s married to a Tory MP elipsing on cronyism.
    and Jim – I have a feeling she’ll not be desperately in need of a state pension but still, for the gratitude and recognition absolutely.

  14. On one of James Thomson’s comment threads at Unz we discuss whether she should become an OM or a Duchess.

  15. BiND, it might have been me. I believe it was when some journos were kicking up a fuss about the cost of her PR department and there was a lot of suspicion of this unknown person. I posted her credentials because it seemed to me that someone who helps to manage a successful biotech fund, has serious degrees in biochemistry and sits on the Board of the Crick Institute was probably the ideal choice

  16. “When lockdowns cost tens to hundreds of billions a day (at national or continental level respectively)”

    From the chap who quite rightly slates off journalists who get their numbers wrong..:)

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