EU naive to believe US will be fair with vaccine distribution
Published: Jan 27, 2021 11:43 AM

A health worker receives her COVID-19 vaccine along with other social care workers at the International Centre for Life in Newcastle upon Tyne, northeast England, on Saturday. Photo: AFP

The EU has been staking all of its chips on US vaccines. Let's see what it has actually got. During her speech to the Davos Agenda Week, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said, "Europe invested billions to help develop the world's first COVID-19 vaccines… And now, the companies must deliver. They must honor their obligations." However, US and British companies may not take these words seriously. 

Both Pfizer and AstraZeneca announced to postpone the delivery of the novel coronavirus vaccine to the EU. But some people believe that these two companies are secretly providing their vaccines to buyers willing to pay higher prices. The EU has now discovered that their vaccination process lags far behind the US, the UK, and Israel. No wonder. The UK and Israel are closer to the US. 

The EU is home to more than 500 million people. But even today, it has no vaccine that truly belongs to itself. They are so naïve to believe that the US will be fair and just with this case.

Given the grave suffering in the EU, one can imagine the stark situations in a vast number of developing countries. US companies like Pfizer signed contracts with them and agreed to provide them with a small amount of vaccines, with an aim to tie these developing countries down and make them desperately wait for the arrival of vaccines in large numbers. Fortunately, many major developing countries have decisively chosen to take the Chinese vaccines. Otherwise, no one can say when their people will be inoculated. 

US media has been attacking Chinese vaccines. A recent New York Times article said that China delayed the delivery of vaccines to relevant countries. However, the latest news is that Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro thanked China on Monday for rapidly approving exports of 5,400 liters of inputs for Sinovac's vaccine being made in Sao Paulo. Accusations thrown by the US media about Chinese vaccines are more suitable to criticize the Pfizer vaccines. 

Chinese vaccines have fundamentally changed the global pattern of vaccine distribution monopolized by companies in the US and its allies, which claim to safeguard justice and fairness. Under the pandemic, US global hegemony has truly been crippled. Hence, US public opinion is violently attacking Chinese vaccines, as expected. But we hope European public opinion stops fueling such attacks. Regardless of whether Europeans use Chinese vaccines, it is evident that Chinese vaccines have played an important role to protect their interests. 

The author is editor-in-chief of the Global Times. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn