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Coronavirus: The Thread

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Coronavirus: The Thread

Old 27th Jan 2021, 19:19
  #13521 (permalink)  
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https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ean-commission

Britain and EU clash over claims to UK-produced Covid vaccine

....Kyriakides said that under its contract with AstraZeneca, four European plants were named as suppliers and two of those were based in the UK, and she expected them to work for EU citizens.

The company has claimed that the contract with the EU only obliges it to make “best efforts” to supply the bloc, in the understanding that it has other obligations, and that the vaccine production process is prone to breakdown.....


Kyriakides, a Cypriot who studied in Britain, said the argument was unacceptable and the company had a moral duty to treat the EU similarly to the UK.

She said: “We are in a pandemic. We lose people every day. These are not numbers, they’re not statistics. These are persons with families with friends and colleagues that are all affected as well.

“Pharmaceutical companies, vaccine developers have moral, societal and contractual responsibilities, which they need to uphold. The view that the company is not obliged to deliver because we signed a best effort agreement is neither correct, nor is it acceptable.”

Kyriakides said there was no “priority clause” that would justify British residents benefiting first from doses made in the UK......

The EU wants to ensure that doses made in AstraZeneca’s plants in Belgium and the Netherlands are not in future sent to the UK. There is also the risk that exports of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from European plants could be blocked from reaching the UK......

“People in the United Kingdom are vaccinated with a very good vaccine produced in Europe, supported by European money,” said Peter Liese, a German MEP in Angela Merkel’s CDU party, referring to the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine.

“If there is anyone thinking that European citizens would accept that we give this high quality vaccine to the United Kingdom and would accept to be treated as second class by a UK-based company, I think the only consequence can be to immediately stop the export of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine.

“And then we are in the middle of a trade war. So the company and the UK better think twice.”
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Old 27th Jan 2021, 21:58
  #13522 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by KelvinD View Post
Something that puzzled me was the government departments placing these contracts. In the case of flu jabs, Hep B etc, it was the Department of Health as you would expect. Those relating to the Covid vaccines have all been placed by (and presumably managed by) the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Any ideas?
The 'flu and Hep. B vaccines are almost certainly existing products so they are straightforward supply contracts. The COVID vaccines didn't (and some still don't) exist so these will be development contracts.
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Old 27th Jan 2021, 22:14
  #13523 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
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Originally Posted by ORAC View Post
https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...ean-commission

Britain and EU clash over claims to UK-produced Covid vaccine

....Kyriakides said that under its contract with AstraZeneca, four European plants were named as suppliers and two of those were based in the UK, and she expected them to work for EU citizens.

The company has claimed that the contract with the EU only obliges it to make “best efforts” to supply the bloc, in the understanding that it has other obligations, and that the vaccine production process is prone to breakdown.....


Kyriakides, a Cypriot who studied in Britain, said the argument was unacceptable and the company had a moral duty to treat the EU similarly to the UK.

She said: “We are in a pandemic. We lose people every day. These are not numbers, they’re not statistics. These are persons with families with friends and colleagues that are all affected as well.

“Pharmaceutical companies, vaccine developers have moral, societal and contractual responsibilities, which they need to uphold. The view that the company is not obliged to deliver because we signed a best effort agreement is neither correct, nor is it acceptable.”

Kyriakides said there was no “priority clause” that would justify British residents benefiting first from doses made in the UK......

The EU wants to ensure that doses made in AstraZeneca’s plants in Belgium and the Netherlands are not in future sent to the UK. There is also the risk that exports of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from European plants could be blocked from reaching the UK......

“People in the United Kingdom are vaccinated with a very good vaccine produced in Europe, supported by European money,” said Peter Liese, a German MEP in Angela Merkel’s CDU party, referring to the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine.

“If there is anyone thinking that European citizens would accept that we give this high quality vaccine to the United Kingdom and would accept to be treated as second class by a UK-based company, I think the only consequence can be to immediately stop the export of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine.

“And then we are in the middle of a trade war. So the company and the UK better think twice.”
Would would win a trade war? Not Boris. Let them eat irradiated lettuce!
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Old 27th Jan 2021, 22:43
  #13524 (permalink)  
 
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The EU have yet to explain why they took an extra 3 months to place their order. I can’t help but feel that many people who wanted to remain in the EU are having their loyalty tested as the EU reveals its nasty side by demanding U.K. supplies.
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Old 28th Jan 2021, 00:22
  #13525 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
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If they had placed orders for the vaccine at the same time that we did, they would not be having this row with us, as production of "their" supplies would have been debugged by now and like our supplies would be flowing freely. Having screed up royally by failing to place their orders in a timely manner, the EU politicians now find themselves in a rather embarrassing situation . They cannot admit to the citizens of the EU they messed it up, because having seen what we have succeeded in doing outside of the EU, the good citizens of the 27 EU countries, or at least some of the, may decide they want out as well .

The answer to this problem is simple in their minds, accuse the UK of stealing their supplies of the vaccine.

Are there elections coming up in any of the EU countries

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Old 28th Jan 2021, 08:15
  #13526 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
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Originally Posted by yellowtriumph View Post
For those following my exchange with Tesco over their lack of implementation of their ‘no face - no service’ policy at a local small Tesco. Tesco assured me that they had had a word with the store manager to ensure a security person would be stationed at the store entrance to enforce the policy.

Visited the store again yesterday and as you’ve already guessed I walked in without a mask without challenge as there was no enforcement presence. Another stern email to Tesco and it has gone very quiet. Naturally I put a mask on before venturing further than the entrance into the store before anyone asks.
Our local Tesco Express has self-printed "You must wear a mask before entering" signs on the door - albeit with the usual "exemption" get out clause. They do have a security guard - inexplicably he was wearing a sunflower lanyard at first, but now wears a mask.

By and large though, I would say that non-mask wearers are in a distinct minority.
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Old 28th Jan 2021, 08:22
  #13527 (permalink)  
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https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-s...pascal-soriot/

EU slams AstraZeneca but fails in push for vaccine

EU officials lashed out at the pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca on Wednesday but failed to secure commitments to address a “massive” shortfall in coronavirus vaccine production that will leave the bloc at least some 75 million doses short of expectations in the first three months of 2021.

“We regret the continued lack of clarity on the delivery schedule and request a clear plan from AstraZeneca for the fast delivery of the quantity of vaccines that we reserved for Q1,” the EU health commissioner, Stella Kyriakides, tweeted after a meeting Wednesday evening that included an unexpected appearance by the AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot.

Kyriakides insisted the European Commission would work with the company “to find solutions and deliver vaccines rapidly for EU citizens.” But the assurance seemed rather hollow after a day in which the EU threatened legal action, brandished the prospect of vaccine export restrictions and blasted Soriot and his company for failing to live up to their “contractual, societal and moral obligations” — only to emerge from the meeting empty-handed.

The failure to win any concrete redress from the company was certain to heighten political tensions across the EU’s 27 member countries, with the coronavirus pandemic still raging and political leaders under increasing pressure to explain why the EU has lagged behind countries like Israel, the United States and especially the U.K. in deploying vaccines to citizens.....

But the details mattered little as it became clear the EU had little leverage over the company despite having allocated €336 million to help it develop the vaccine and prepare to produce it in mass quantities, even before receiving formal approval from the European Medicines Agency, which is expected on Friday.

The Commission has yet to disburse the entire €336 million — there’s still a “good chunk” of it left, one EU official said, “not just a few cents.” Another Commission official said the Commission will “chase” the company to get a refund.

But withholding or getting money back will prove no consolation, given that what EU heads of state and government need — and what their citizens are demanding — is vaccine. And on that front, there seemed to be little Brussels could do to immediately secure more dosees.

Commission officials acknowledged litigation would take years. “That's not really the focus of our attention,” another EU official said. “The focus of our attention is the performance of the contract now because the vaccines are needed now, not in two years' time.”

Hoarding Problems


While the EU is planning to impose new export controls — initially with the goal of ascertaining exactly how much vaccine is being produced and where manufacturers plan to send it — taking too tough a line on that front could backfire.

Already leaders from other parts of the world, such as South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, are accusing the EU and wealthier countries of hoarding vaccine and denying access to developing nations. And there are other EU partners and allies, including fellow G7 member Canada, which are relying at least partly on EU vaccine production for their supplies......

Commission officials also acknowledged they had developed their contract with AstraZeneca for vaccine production in Europe specifically to avoid the risk of export restrictions being imposed by former U.S. President Donald Trump. Only now, the Commission is moving forward with its own export restrictions......

But one senior EU official said the bloc's main goal was actually not to focus on any such intricacies. "What we're really, really interested in — this you need to realize — is not the dispute on this or that aspect," the senior official said. "We want to have the vaccines.”.....
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Old 28th Jan 2021, 08:31
  #13528 (permalink)  
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https://www.politico.eu/article/valn...e-in-scotland/

Valneva begins manufacturing vaccine candidate in Scotland

French biotech Valneva has started manufacturing its vaccine candidate in Scotland, the U.K. government announced Thursday..

The move follows a multi-million-pound joint investment in the facility in Livingston, West Lothian, by the U.K. government in 2020 as part of an in-principle agreement to secure early access to Valneva’s first 60 million vaccine doses, with an option to acquire a further 130 million if the jab is approved.......

"By starting manufacturing, we will have a running start at rolling these out as quickly as possible to protect the British public if it receives regulatory approval," U.K. Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said in a statement.

Valneva CEO Thomas Lingelbach said: "Our team in Scotland have done an amazing job to get manufacturing started so quickly."
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Old 28th Jan 2021, 08:45
  #13529 (permalink)  
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https://www.politico.eu/article/euro...h-astrazeneca/

How Europe fell behind on vaccines

The EU secured some of the lowest prices in the world. At what cost?
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Old 28th Jan 2021, 09:21
  #13530 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by eal401 View Post
Our local Tesco Express has self-printed "You must wear a mask before entering" signs on the door - albeit with the usual "exemption" get out clause. They do have a security guard - inexplicably he was wearing a sunflower lanyard at first, but now wears a mask.

By and large though, I would say that non-mask wearers are in a distinct minority.
The way Tesco in particular tiptoe around enforcing the law on their premises is so annoying. Whilst feeding the car this morning I spied a banner saying 'Let's all keep our distance in store' or words to that effect. No, that invites those who don't want to comply to think 'no, let's not'. It should be an instruction to keep your distance.

Now I know the '2 metre rule' isn't law, but face coverings are and it should be the store operator to enforce it, same as a pub landlord has responsibility to uphold the laws around alcohol consumption. Pretending that it's the responsibility of the police to handle lawbreaking on Tesco property is abdication of their responsibility.
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Old 28th Jan 2021, 09:45
  #13531 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by ATNotts View Post
The way Tesco in particular tiptoe around enforcing the law on their premises is so annoying. Whilst feeding the car this morning I spied a banner saying 'Let's all keep our distance in store' or words to that effect. No, that invites those who don't want to comply to think 'no, let's not'. It should be an instruction to keep your distance.

Now I know the '2 metre rule' isn't law, but face coverings are and it should be the store operator to enforce it, same as a pub landlord has responsibility to uphold the laws around alcohol consumption. Pretending that it's the responsibility of the police to handle lawbreaking on Tesco property is abdication of their responsibility.
Our local Tesco Express manager was assaulted last week by an individual (subsequently arrested) who had declined to wear a mask or to claim an exemption.
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Old 28th Jan 2021, 09:51
  #13532 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Had the vaccine this morning at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon. I must congratulate all the people involved in the complete process. It was very efficient whilst still adhering to social distancing etc. Well done. 👏👏👏👏👏
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Old 28th Jan 2021, 09:52
  #13533 (permalink)  
 
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Now I know the '2 metre rule' isn't law, but face coverings are and it should be the store operator to enforce it, same as a pub landlord has responsibility to uphold the laws around alcohol consumption. Pretending that it's the responsibility of the police to handle lawbreaking on Tesco property is abdication of their responsibility.
Nonsense, if its the law then of course its the Polices responsibility...clue is in the name.
Fact is we don't have an effective or competent Police force but that's not the fault of those working in Tesco
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Old 28th Jan 2021, 10:04
  #13534 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
Our local Tesco Express manager was assaulted last week by an individual (subsequently arrested) who had declined to wear a mask or to claim an exemption.
Which is why in my initial complaint to Tesco I said there needs to be a ‘heavy’ security guard presence at the door. It shouldn’t be left up to the local staff.
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Old 28th Jan 2021, 10:05
  #13535 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by PR0PWASH View Post
Nonsense, if its the law then of course its the Polices responsibility...clue is in the name.
Fact is we don't have an effective or competent Police force but that's not the fault of those working in Tesco
No it's not, the offence is being committed on private property, the law is purposed to apply inside buildings, which are essentially the responsibility of the owner / operator, exactly as is the case on licenced premises. Large retailers, such as Tesco can't sit their happily raking in the money but not taking responsibility for upholding the law on their property. Clearly Tesco managers shouldn't be being assaulted, and we we learn from the media, retail staff have always for whatever reason been subject to abuse. They are more than happy to spend the money on security guards at the exits to their stores to apprehend shoplifters, naturally because they affect their bottom line. Surely it's not too much to ask that they employ security on the front doors to enforce the law and keep their customers and employees as safe as is reasonably possible.

We have an effective police force, but to expect them to police the inside of retail premises is an expectation too far.
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Old 28th Jan 2021, 10:08
  #13536 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
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[QUOTE=PR0PWASH;10977916]Nonsense, if its the law then of course its the Polices responsibility...clue is in the name.
Fact is we don't have an effective or competent Police force but that's not the fault of those working in Tesco[/QUOTE

Tesco themselves have implemented a policy of ‘no mask - no service’ within their stores and gained popular national publicity for doing so. Tesco have the absolute right to determine who does and who does not enter their private premises. It is not a Police matter.

Edit. Crossed with ATN.
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Old 28th Jan 2021, 10:08
  #13537 (permalink)  
 
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Which vaccine have you received?

I am meeting many people now who have had at least one vaccination, but virtually to a man (and woman!) they have received the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.

Clearly there are many here who are higher up the pecking order for vaccination (I'm clearly far too young for this forum!!!), which one has the team received? I get the impression that the over 80s have been steered towards the Pfizer product.
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Old 28th Jan 2021, 10:18
  #13538 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
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Originally Posted by ATNotts View Post
I am meeting many people now who have had at least one vaccination, but virtually to a man (and woman!) they have received the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.

Clearly there are many here who are higher up the pecking order for vaccination (I'm clearly far too young for this forum!!!), which one has the team received? I get the impression that the over 80s have been steered towards the Pfizer product.

I suspect it's just an accidental consequence of the order in which vaccines were approved and made available. The Pfize/BioNtech vaccine was first, so plans were made to roll this out to the most vulnerable groups, mainly the over-80s. Rather than change those plans once the Oxford/AZ vaccine became available, they've chosen to stick with them and roll out additional vaccination centres to administer that vaccine. Given the big differences in both the storage and preparation requirements between these vaccines this probably makes a lot of sense.
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Old 28th Jan 2021, 10:26
  #13539 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
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EU officials lashed out at the pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca
I watched what the news people showed of that EU meeting.
Amused me to hear everyone conducting business in English.
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Old 28th Jan 2021, 10:27
  #13540 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Wilts
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I got the Pfizer vaccine but I think that was because it was given at the hospital where the correct storage facilities were available.
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