Vaccination dispute: Kurz and colleagues warn the EU leadership against further dawdling

One prick is enough to be at least halfway reliably protected against a serious Covid disease. The new vaccine from the pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, which has just entered the final study phase, is also raising high hopes in Europe. The group has just submitted its vaccine, which is similar to the AstraZeneca preparation, for emergency approval in the USA. An application for a similar approval should follow in the EU in the next few days.


Can it finally go a little faster in Europe now? This is what heads of government throughout the EU are asking, as is Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. After all, the EU is chronically behind schedule with its centralized procurement of vaccines in Brussels. In short, the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, Denmark’s Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen and Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis write to the EU leader: “The upcoming vaccine from Johnson & Johnson could be Game changer because it can be stored and transported more easily and only needs to be inoculated once ”. However, that’s how Kurz & Co practice. Clear criticism of the EU’s corona strategy, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine must be sent to the USA for filling and packaging, a risky detour, say the top politicians.

US export blockades

Because as soon as the vaccine, which is also manufactured in Leiden, the Netherlands, goes to the USA, you not only lose valuable time, but also run the risk that the preparation could fall under a US export blockade. After all – in times of pandemic and vaccine shortages – it is an essential drug in terms of health policy. Hence the warning in the letter: “If that could jeopardize EU access to the vaccine, we should address the issue now to find solutions with the company to secure the European quantities.”


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