“This is what Brexit was all about,” roared the ring-wing British press as vaccinations of Brits continued apace, while EU residents lagged behind due to the likes of AstraZeneca and other companies unable to fulfill EU orders even though they were legally contracted to do so.
It’s a simple question: why?
AstraZeneca, one of the biggest providers of the vaccines, states it was a ‘first come first served’ basis and the British government got in with their orders first, so now everyone is praising them for getting something right.
While EU nations, and many others, were busy trying to control the virus and save lives in the initial stages of the pandemic, a horrifying situation was emerging across the Channel. People were dying in their thousands, tens of thousands, now, one hundred thousand plus.
Britain now has the dubious honour of being the country with the most deaths per capita of population. But, hey, if they ever find a vaccine, the UK government’s got it covered. Never mind how many die or are incapacitated in the process, if a vaccine is manufactured the government’s going to look like the saviour of the people. Great politics, guys!
Yet Britain’s a relatively small island, with a population around sixty-eight million. Surely, that number of vaccines is really a drop in the ocean compared to the amount needed throughout the world, or even in the EU with its population of four hundred and fifty million?
So what’s all the fuss about?
The fuss is actually about, not sixty-eight million vaccines for the UK, but a staggering three hundred and sixty-seven million doses. Even allowing for AstaZeneca’s vaccine supposedly needing two shots (now somewhat in doubt), that would still leave two hundred and thirty-two million unneeded doses that could be used to vaccinate half the populace of the EU and buy time for the drug companies to get their act together and increase their production.
Here are the figures straight from the horse’s mouth, otherwise known as one of the most right-wing newspapers in the UK, the “Express”. Of course, it was bragging, with a video of the Prince of Brexit, Nigel Farage, to accompany it.
Janssen/Johnson & Johnson: 30m
This equates to more than five doses per person in the UK, which is a sharp contrast to the orders made in other developing countries.” (Express)
What was the title of that post I wrote last week? Oh, yes, I remember, “The ‘Fuck You, I’m All Right, Jack’ Phenomenon”.
The EU did the sensible thing. They concentrated on saving lives. The UK government didn’t. Consequently, the EU didn’t begin to order vaccines until it knew vaccines would be available. They were three months behind the UK with their orders.
Read the British press and you’d believe the EU was trying to pull the hypodermic needles out of the arms of Brits. No such thing, just those 232 million doses that will be going begging, or going rancid, that the UK does not need.
I’m so glad I live in France. If I’d lived in the country of my passport, it’s possible I wouldn’t be writing this today. I may well have been one of those 107,200 (and rising) unfortunates who died a horrible death because their government did absolutely nothing to stop it.
I may have to wait another month longer for my vaccination. What the hell, I’m still alive.