Staggering state of EU’s vaccine nightmare laid bare – MEP breaks cover to expose disgrace

Jonathan Van-Tam warns coronavirus battle 'not yet won'

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More than 20 million people in Britain have now received their first Covid-19 jab, a far higher per capita figure than for any EU member state. Coronavirus cases have started rising again in France and Germany and there is huge concern about new more infectious variants of the virus.

Dr Gunnar Beck, who represents the nationalist Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, claimed Germany could have done “so much better” without “the dead hand of the EU”.

Writing in the Mail on Sunday he said: “We are now in the situation where a third of the British population has been vaccinated, with infection and mortality rates in decline.

“Germany meanwhile has vaccinated just five per cent of its population. France has vaccinated only four per cent.

“The Brussels true believers are hell-bent on sticking to their project, the construction of a centralised super-state.

“It is a perfect illustration of why all-too-often, harmonisation means levelling down to the lowest common denominator.

“And why Britain, now freed of its chains, can finally take decisions in its own national interest.”

EU member states decided to hand responsibility for vaccine purchase to the European Commission, rather than buying as individual countries.

However the Commission failed to order enough of the right vaccines resulting in serious shortages across the continent.

It didn’t order the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab until three months after the UK.

The EU also ordered 300 million doses from French company Sanofi despite its vaccine performing poorly in early trials, and it now won’t be ready until the end of the year at the earliest.

In response Brussels threatened to block vaccine exports from the EU, placing a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, but backed down following fury in London and Dublin.

Senior European politicians cast doubt on the effectiveness of the AstraZeneca vaccine despite it performing well in trials.

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Data from Scotland has since showed just one jab reduces the risk of being hospitalised with coronavirus by 94 percent.

However French President Emmanuel Macron incorrectly claimed it was “quasi-ineffective” for those aged over 65.

A number of European countries, including France and Germany, banned the vaccine’s use for the elderly despite it being approved for all age groups by the European Medical Agency.

Explaining the EU’s vaccine procurement Dr Beck wrote: “In theory, the European Commission could use its buying power to ensure the rapid delivery of hundreds of millions of doses at rock bottom prices.

“But that ignored the dead hand of the EU bureaucracy, which is the last thing you need in a crisis.

“Valuable weeks and months were lost amid furious horse-trading in Brussels.

“Many orders were not made until September which, despite its financial clout, put Europe at the back of the queue.”

The EU’s slow vaccine rollout has caused fury across Europe.

Earlier this week Bild, Germany’s most popular newspaper, put a union jack on its front page and the headline “Dear Brits, we envy you!”

Boris Johnson has announced a plan to end all restrictions on socialising in England by June 21 if the vaccination scheme is successful.

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