COVID-19 vaccine: Experts say X-ray shows impact on unvaccinated
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The European Union and French President Emmanuel Macron failed to secure any early purchases of the French-produced Valneva vaccine, but the jabs are instead being made available to Brexit Britain first in what is a major embarrassment for the EU. The UK Government has reportedly secured an order for 190 million doses, with the first 60 million of the 100 million doses set to continue into the first quarter of next year, with the remainder due in 2022.
British officials also have the option to buy an additional 90 million doses that would be delivered between 2023 and 2025, sending the total value of the order surging to £1.2billion. The manufacturing process will take place in Livingston, Scotland.
But in the latest example of the shambolic handling of the vaccine rollout programme, the EU and France failed to agree a deal with Valneva to deliver vaccine doses to the bloc.
The parties began talks early last year but they suddenly collapsed on the grounds “the French company had not fulfilled the conditions” for marketing in Europe.
Now the EU is pressing ahead with the CureVac vaccine from Germany, but at the end of June, the firm admitted its jab was only 48 percent effective in the final analysis of its pivotal mass trial.
EU news: Brussels is going ahead with a German vaccine having not secured orders of the Valneva jab (Image: GETTY)
EU news: France did not secure any pre-orders of the Valneva vaccine (Image: GETTY)
This has sparked a furious reaction from Generation Frexit President Charles-Henri Gallois, who told Express.co.uk: “It’s a terrible mistake and a shame for France (not to order doses of the Valneva vaccine).
“The obsession to have an EU solution and purchase by Macron is a total disaster.
“We had the roll-out three months after the UK for Pfizer and AstraZeneca and the EU is not taking into account this French vaccine.
The EU does not want to order this French vaccine but in the meantime, it has ordered many doses of the German vaccine CureVac which appears to be only efficient at 48 percent.
EU news: Brexit Britain scored another major vaccine victory over the bloc (Image: GETTY)
“The EU works for Germany and not for France. It’s not a surprise.”
Mr Gallois believes the UK jumping ahead of the EU on the Valneva vaccine is “another big victory for Brexit Britain”, proving a nation free from the shackles of the EU is “much more efficient and agile”.
He believes when the dust has settled after the Covid pandemic, the EU’s shambolic handling of the crisis will prove to be the “best advertising for Frexit”.
The Generation Frexit President concluded: “This is another big victory for Brexit Britain. It shows one more time that an independent country is much more efficient and agile than the bureaucratic EU.
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EU news: Valneva became frustrated during talks with Brussels (Image: GETTY)
EU news: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (Image: GETTY)
“It’s hard to say if Frexit may happen sooner rather than later as everyone is focused on COVID-19 crisis, they may not see the link with the EU and only blame Macron, who is co-responsible.
“When we do the accounts, after the crisis, I think that it will be a great advertising for Frexit as the EU has handled it so badly.”
Speaking in April, after Valneva had called off the talks with the EU, the firm’s chief executive Thomas Lingelbach expressed his frustration having gone “in circles” without progress.
Just weeks later, a dozen EU member states, including France and Germany, indicated they wanted to order vaccines themselves rather than through the bloc’s procurement system.
Valneva chief financial officer David Lawrence said at the time the company is “speaking with various governments”.
He added: “We believe that our inactivated vaccine can make a major contribution to the ongoing fight against the pandemic and remain committed to bringing it to market.”