The future of European vaccine procurement – The Agenda in full
Questions over efficacy, blood-clot fears, threats to block exports, and its sluggish supply – the distribution of vaccines has been causing a major division across Europe, particularly, between the EU and the UK.
The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said AstraZeneca must honor its contract with the bloc before exporting vaccines out of the EU – a move that could significantly impact the UK's vaccine supply.
In this episode of The Agenda with Stephen Cole,an array of guests discuss the potential pitfalls of prioritizing competition over cooperation and how today's disputes could affect the vaccine procurement of tomorrow and beyond.
How do the EU and UK vaccine rollout strategies compare? Are there more concerns about the UK-developed AstraZeneca jab than other COVID-19 vaccines? Moreover, how damaging is vaccine nationalism? We find out from Lawrence Young, virologist and specialist in molecular oncology at the University of Warwick.
With France and Germany both having witnessed vaccine hesitation within their populations, we ask Pieter Cleppe, editor-in-chief of Brussels Report, about why that might be – as well as whether Brexit is to blame for a seemingly cold reception towards the UK's AstraZeneca jab.
David Henig, director of the UK Trade Policy Project, also joins the discussion to explain what he thinks the EU must do to emerge from the vaccine setback with strength and stability going forward.