EU slammed over vaccine nationalism amid Covid drug export waiver: ‘Set off ugly trend’

EU 'set off ugly trend of vaccine nationalism' says host

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European Union decisions over vaccine patent waivers have seen Brussels clash with India, South Africa, and other developing countries seeking a fairer global distribution of the life-saving jabs. EU Commissioners have looked to submit the bloc’s own licencing plan to the World Trade Organisation despite the United States announcing it is backing a rights waiver. Brussels’ actions have sparked a furious backlash from media outlets in India where commentators have labelled the bloc’s position on Covid vaccines as “hypocrisy.”

WION host Palki Sharma said: “Do not underestimate the power of big pharma, the kind of clout they have in Europe.

“Brussels is still holding out, next week the WTO will debate the patent waiver.

“But Europe is heading to Geneva with an alternative proposal.

“One that does not involve waiving patents, how is Europe justifying this?”

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She continued: “Well they have two arguments, the one a waiver will not boos production in the short run and two it will remove incentives for pharma companies especially in updating vaccines to keep up with the mutants.

“Do these arguments sound familiar? They should because it is exactly from the big pharma playbook.

“The similarities do not end here the European proposal has three goals number one to ease export restrictions.

“Talk about hypocrisy, let me take you back to March 2021 the same year the European Union restricted vaccine exports.

Pfizer coronavirus vaccine approved for 12 to 15 year olds

Ms Sharma added: “They saved up jabs for their own people.

“It was actually the EU that set off the ugly trend of vaccine nationalism.

“And now with herd immunity around the corner, they want to loosen exports.”

It comes as Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto has blasted the European Commission for “big mistakes” during the early stages of the bloc’s vaccination rollout. 

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Mr Szijjarto told RT: “The European Commission made a big mistake right at the beginning by considering vaccines as if they were issues of ideology or geopolitics.

“And they made a mistake regarding the contracts as well because if you look at the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, they have been using western vaccines as well but they received much more at the beginning.

“They were able to start their vaccination campaign much more quickly compared to the European Union

“So there was a big mistake because timing, timing was very bad.”

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