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European Union's vaccination performance

  • 30-03-2021 11:13pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 2,305 ✭✭✭ Bit cynical


    There's a thread on vaccines themselves, testing and procedures here, and another about the AstraZenica issue here. There has been discussion about the EU's general peformance in vaccine procurement in both these threads but no dedicated thread on the subject. This is strange because vaccine availability is probably our main way out of the crisis and, since Ireland has signed up to the EU's procurement scheme, we are highly dependent on the scheme's performance to exit restrictions. Worthy, therefore, of its own thread, I think most will agree.

    So have the EU been doing well or badly? Probably a good comparison would be the UK which was until recently a member of the EU but is now operating its own independent procurement policy.

    If we look at the chart below of new fully vaccinated people per 100K population, we see that the EU is fairly steady at about 80 new people fully vaccinated per day per 100K, whereas currently the UK is fully vaccinating 300 people per 100K per day. Thus the UK is fully vaccinating 3.75 times faster than the UK. Moreover, that rate has been rapidly increasing the last few weeks.

    Vcf.svg

    This is beginning to translate into daily fewer deaths for the UK with over five times as many daily succumbing to the virus in the EU than the UK. Moreover, the trend is downwards for the UK but flat or upwards for the EU so the gap is widening.

    VdR.svg

    At what point do people see this turning around? Do people see it turning around? Should Ireland look outside the EU to supplement its vaccines like I believe Germany is doing?


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,744 ✭✭✭✭ astrofool


    Germany's deal for vaccines only kicks in after the EU has been supplied.

    A better graph would be raw vaccination numbers as it more clearly indicates where the problem is (supply), if all the UK extra vaccines went to Europe, we'd be about 3% better off than we are now, EU has a huge volume of people to vaccinate, and it also supplying the rest of the world with vaccines, which is what's essential to prevent deaths and keep the virus under control, the EU strategy will save a lot more lives than the UK strategy, the only difference is that some of the deaths will have been prevented in a non-EU country.

    You also need to go back further than 28 days on the death graph for the UK to understand why they did what they did (nationalize vaccines, hide vaccine imports, stop following manufacturers recommendations, approved vaccines at a lower standard than the EU). Their death rate and virus spread has been horrendous for an island that had advance warning of what was coming due to the situation in Italy and Spain, and at the end of it all, they'll probably still have a higher death rate than the EU per capita.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,305 ✭✭✭ Bit cynical


    I'm afraid the comparison does not get much better if we adopt your suggestion of plotting vaccine doses rather than people and also go back further than 28 days.

    We can see that in doses per 100k, the UK started out ahead about three months agoand again the lead has been maintained and indeed increased ever since then.

    Are we due some big deliveries in April? If so, what are the numbers?

    Vd3.svg

    Also what do you mean by hiding imports and can you provide evidence that the UK have been approving vaccines at lower standards to the EU rather than merely approving them faster?

    I'm not sure I agree with your comment about size. Yes, the EU is bigger than the UK, but it also has more overall economic capacity and should therefore be better able to take advantage of economies of scale.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,744 ✭✭✭✭ astrofool


    I'm afraid the comparison does not get much better if we adopt your suggestion of plotting vaccine doses rather than people and also go back further than 28 days.

    We can see that in doses per 100k, the UK started out ahead about three months agoand again the lead has been maintained and indeed increased ever since then.

    Are we due some big deliveries in April? If so, what are the numbers?

    Vd3.svg

    Also what do you mean by hiding imports and can you provide evidence that the UK have been approving vaccines at lower standards to the EU rather than merely approving them faster?

    I'm not sure I agree with your comment about size. Yes, the EU is bigger than the UK, but it also has more overall economic capacity and should therefore be better able to take advantage of economies of scale.

    There is 2 other threads where those points have been done to death. Go back further than 28 days on the death count graph as well.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,305 ✭✭✭ Bit cynical


    astrofool wrote: »
    There is 2 other threads where those points have been done to death. Go back further than 28 days on the death count graph as well.
    But they are not really on-topic for either of those threads and the points tend to be lost fairly quickly.

    For example there's a thread about AstraZenica but the EU's issues with that company are only a small part of why it is behind in vaccinations.

    Similarly on the testing and procedures thread, possibly the EU's approach to testing and procedures is a factor but again it is likely to be only a small part of the bigger picture. To bring up the EU in this thread is again to detract from the main purpose of that thread.
    astrofool wrote: »
    Go back further than 28 days on the death count graph as well.
    Sure, if we go back to say 56 days, the drop in daily deaths for the UK becomes more precipitous and is would be among the lowest of the EU countries were it still a member.

    Ve6.svg

    I fully agree that the UK has had high deaths by European standards but this goes to show the importance of vaccines and what they have achieved with their vaccination programme.


  • Moderators, Music Moderators Posts: 9,532 Mod ✭✭✭✭ humberklog


    astrofool wrote: »
    There is 2 other threads where those points have been done to death. Go back further than 28 days on the death count graph as well.

    Why would the OP need to go back further than 28day? Surely the sample given is enough to demonstrate the effectiveness of the EU's strategy so far.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,744 ✭✭✭✭ astrofool


    humberklog wrote: »
    Why would the OP need to go back further than 28day? Surely the sample given is enough to demonstrate the effectiveness of the EU's strategy so far.

    Because their horrendous death rate precipitated the strategy that followed from taking approval and guideline risks to hiding the amount of vaccine they were importing from the EU. The EU is vaccinating the world, reducing human deaths worldwide, only India can say the same. The OP has picked a time sample that tries to overplay what the UK has done with vaccinations, implying an agenda rather than a good faith argument.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,995 ✭✭✭ Padre_Pio


    astrofool wrote: »
    There is 2 other threads where those points have been done to death. Go back further than 28 days on the death count graph as well.
    Death toll should not impact the roll out of the vaccine, all countries should be rushing to get their populations vaccinated ASAP.

    I understand that the UK and US were hit hard and have a high death toll, but both have vaccination rates multiples of the EU, which is more in line with Canada, Brazil and China.

    For a trading block with massive technological and manufacturing advantages, it's bad that the EU is not leading the way in vaccinations, and absolutely woeful we're lagging so far behind the US and UK.

    There's plenty of excuses to make, but none that stick.


  • Moderators, Music Moderators Posts: 9,532 Mod ✭✭✭✭ humberklog


    "The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there."

    I like the OP's point of measuring it the now.

    I'm not great at finding the graphs and linking them so fair play Bit Cynical, that's an interesting (to some like me) graph.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,050 ✭✭✭✭ Strazdas


    It's believed that EU rollout is going to rapidly accelerate in the next eight weeks (starting almost immediately). Arrival of Johnson & Johnson vaccine on April 19th is definitely going to be a factor.

    Much of the narrative that the EU rollout is going terribly is coming from the jingoistic propaganda merchants of the English tabloids, who are trying to frame everything about the successful UK rollout at the EU's expense. They have twin objectives : get Johnson off the hook for his disastrous pandemic handling and make Brexit look like it was a good idea.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,305 ✭✭✭ Bit cynical


    Padre_Pio wrote: »
    Death toll should not impact the roll out of the vaccine, all countries should be rushing to get their populations vaccinated ASAP.
    Yes, for example Ireland has comparatively low overall deaths from Covid-19 thankfully, but this has come at huge cost compared to most of the EU. We are stuck with those restrictions until we vaccinate but we are dependent on the EU for our shots.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 13,050 ✭✭✭✭ Strazdas


    Yes, for example Ireland has comparatively low overall deaths from Covid-19 thankfully, but this has come at huge cost compared to most of the EU. We are stuck with those restrictions until we vaccinate but we are dependent on the EU for our shots.

    In answer to your original questions and graphs, Ireland thinks it can vaccinate 1m a month starting April and probably a considerably higher number in May (possibly 1.5m). The April figure would correlate to 13m in the UK - highly likely then that the EU begins to rapidly catch up with Britain, as Ireland's doses are all part of the official EU quota.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,995 ✭✭✭ Padre_Pio


    Strazdas wrote: »
    In answer to your original questions and graphs, Ireland thinks it can vaccinate 1m a month starting April and probably a considerably higher number in May (possibly 1.5m). The April figure would correlate to 13m in the UK - highly likely then that the EU begins to rapidly catch up with Britain, as Ireland's doses are all part of the official EU quota.

    1 million a month is still a small number.
    That's 7 months to get two shots into every adult in the country.

    Average of 33,000 doses a day.
    The UK is getting through over average of 500,000 doses a day.

    Adjust this for population and they're still vaccinating 1.5 times as fast as us.


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,050 ✭✭✭✭ Strazdas


    Padre_Pio wrote: »
    1 million a month is still a small number.
    That's 7 months to get two shots into every adult in the country.

    33,000 doses a day.
    The UK is getting through over 700,000 doses a day.

    Adjust this for population and they're still vaccinating twice as fast as us.

    The UK vaccination is a big success and a very welcome development. I wouldn't knock it at all.

    The only thing I would take issue with is the liars and scoundrels of the English press trying to frame it at the EU's expense. For starters, the EU's population is seven times bigger and probably the real reason they have been vaccinating at a slower rate per capita (there are simply nowhere enough vaccines, not up until now anyway).


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,305 ✭✭✭ Bit cynical


    Strazdas wrote: »
    In answer to your original questions and graphs, Ireland thinks it can vaccinate 1m a month starting April and probably a considerably higher number in May (possibly 1.5m). The April figure would correlate to 13m in the UK - highly likely then that the EU begins to rapidly catch up with Britain, as Ireland's doses are all part of the official EU quota.
    Do you have projected figures for overall EU supply in those months? The reason I am asking is that if Ireland fails to vaccinate your number, they can just put it down to lack of supply. Ireland might create the capacity to vaccinate 1m subject to supply; not our fault if the vaccines fail to arrive type of thing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,305 ✭✭✭ Bit cynical


    Strazdas wrote: »
    For starters, the EU's population is seven times bigger and probably the real reason they have been vaccinating at a slower rate per capita (there are simply nowhere enough vaccines, not up until now anyway).
    Should the US not also be suffering from this size issue compared to the UK?


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,050 ✭✭✭✭ Strazdas


    Do you have projected figures for overall EU supply in those months? The reason I am asking is that if Ireland fails to vaccinate your number, they can just put it down to lack of supply. Ireland might create the capacity to vaccinate 1m subject to supply; not our fault if the vaccines fail to arrive.

    I think I read that Ireland gets 1% of the EU quota, therefore simply multiply everything by a hundred i.e. 1m doses for Ire in April means the EU gets 100m doses.

    In theory, Ireland should be vaccinating at the same rate per capita as the EU26 throughout April, May, June and July (as the EU itself is the source of all the vaccines).


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,305 ✭✭✭ Bit cynical


    Strazdas wrote: »
    I think I read that Ireland gets 1% of the EU quota, therefore simply multiply everything by a hundred i.e. 1m doses for Ire in April means the EU gets 100m doses.

    In theory, Ireland should be vaccinating at the same rate per capita as the EU26 throughout April, May, June and July (as the EU itself is the source of all the vaccines).
    I have no problem with the idea that Ireland gets the same as other EU countries per capita excluding those that are topping up with external deals. The point is that capacity to jab vaccines does not imply that those vaccines will arrive. It may refer instead to the capacity of the country to administer should that amount of vaccine become available. That is why I would like to see official EU projections and from there adjust accordingly so that comparisons with other countries can be made.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,995 ✭✭✭ Padre_Pio


    Strazdas wrote: »
    the EU's population is seven times bigger and probably the real reason they have been vaccinating at a slower rate per capita (there are simply nowhere enough vaccines, not up until now anyway).

    That doesn't make sense.

    Per capita averages out. Right now, the EU has vaccinated maybe 1/3 or less than what the UK and US are vaccinating.

    I don't believe they EU is exporting 2/3 of its vaccines or there is a plausible excuse for this statistic.

    We're meant to be one of the most powerful entities on the earth, with huge economic clout and billions invested in vaccine research. Why are other countries with compatible or less resources doing much better than us?


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,050 ✭✭✭✭ Strazdas


    Padre_Pio wrote: »
    That doesn't make sense.

    Per capita averages out. Right now, the EU has vaccinated maybe 1/3 or less than what the UK and US are vaccinating.

    I don't believe they EU is exporting 2/3 of its vaccines or there is a plausible excuse for this statistic.

    We're meant to be one of the most powerful entities on the earth, with huge economic clout and billions invested in vaccine research. Why are other countries with compatible or less resources doing much better than us?

    There aren't 150m or 200m vaccine doses in Europe right now - they simply don't exist.

    For the EU to have kept pace with the UK, they would have needed to have vaccinated over 200m EU citizens already....a physical impossibility, seeing as those doses haven't even been manufactured yet.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,305 ✭✭✭ Bit cynical


    humberklog wrote: »
    "The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there."

    I like the OP's point of measuring it the now.

    I'm not great at finding the graphs and linking them so fair play Bit Cynical, that's an interesting (to some like me) graph.

    The charts are from here:
    https://91-divoc.com/pages/covid-visualization/

    The main useful one is third from the top presenting date from different countries normalised by population. Once you have the chart you want you can save it to a file and then post it on here as an image.

    There seems to be a lot of optimism that the EU will catch up with the UK and the US and other countries and optimism is a good thing however I would like to numbers from official sources backing this up. I haven't seen that so far. Such projections would allow us here in Ireland to make decisions on the best course of action for the country.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,305 ✭✭✭ Bit cynical


    Strazdas wrote: »
    There aren't 150m or 200m vaccine doses in Europe right now - they simply don't exist.

    For the EU to have kept pace with the UK, they would have needed to have vaccinated over 200m EU citizens already....a physical impossibility, seeing as those doses haven't even been manufactured yet.
    I'm not sure I would go along with your reasoning here. A few months ago there were no vaccines anywhere outside of trials but I don't think this would have been considered an acceptable reason not to create the necessary manufacturing capacity.

    Could this be the problem in the EU as opposed to, say, the UK or the US? We expect others to do the work and if they don't then, well, "it's not our fault is it"? Is there an issue with taking ownership of a problem in the EU?


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,744 ✭✭✭✭ astrofool


    The charts are from here:
    https://91-divoc.com/pages/covid-visualization/

    The main useful one is third from the top presenting date from different countries normalised by population. Once you have the chart you want you can save it to a file and then post it on here as an image.

    There seems to be a lot of optimism that the EU will catch up with the UK and the US and other countries and optimism is a good thing however I would like to numbers from official sources backing this up. I haven't seen that so far. Such projections would allow us here in Ireland to make decisions on the best course of action for the country.

    From the point of view of preventing deaths of people, the EU has done incredibly well, and far better than the US and the UK, if you go back to the 12 weeks of data (as you seem loathe to do), the UK death count was over double the EU27 average, so they had to start taking risks, which meant approving at a lower standard with less data available (there's a good guide on europa.eu highlighting the difference between Emergency and Conditional approval), it also meant they prioritised one shot over two, against the manufacturers recommendation. They also falsely claimed that the vaccines were British made (or Astrazeneca, depending on what point they are trying to prove) when in fact 75% of their supply has come from EU factories.

    There's a few reasons for the slower EU rollout:
    • There wasn't a need to take as many risks as the death count and infection rates were lower than countries like the UK and US (which was one of the reasons UK travel was stopped to the continent due to the Kent variant)
    • The Sanofi vaccine didn't work as well as expected, so didn't make it through to production
    • Initially the plan was for AZ to handle the bulk of vaccines with mRNA being a relatively small part of the rollout, however AZ have done pretty badly in rampup, and the mRNA vaccines needed to be ramped up instead which took time
    • The EU is one of the few blocs exporting vaccine, UK have exported no vaccines, US has exported a couple of million to Canada and Mexico, EU vaccines are actively saving people today across the world, every vaccine exported is saving more human lives than vaccines being used internally by the EU

    Now, the EU will catch up over the coming weeks as supplies come online, the EU will also have helped the world when it was needed and is continuing to bring new supply online to help vaccinate the world as part of COVAX.

    And remember, it is all about supply, there simply hasn't been enough physical vaccines produced in order for the EU to have the same % vaccinated as the UK, and the EU did not go the US route of ringfencing all vaccines until they were done, which should be applauded, unless we think that an Irish person not getting to go on holiday for a while is worth more than someone dead in a non EU country.

    The UK are not the country to aspire to during this pandemic, they have had a woeful time of it, and the only success has been their EU produced Vaccine program, which won't bring people back from the dead (they have also been good at stirring up nationalism).


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,305 ✭✭✭ Bit cynical


    astrofool wrote: »
    Now, the EU will catch up over the coming weeks as supplies come online, the EU will also have helped the world when it was needed and is continuing to bring new supply online to help vaccinate the world as part of COVAX.
    Do we have official numbers on that, e.g. expected quantities of doses from particular manufacturers on specific dates? Would we not need to see that before being confident that we will catch up?


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,995 ✭✭✭ Padre_Pio


    Strazdas wrote: »
    There aren't 150m or 200m vaccine doses in Europe right now - they simply don't exist.

    For the EU to have kept pace with the UK, they would have needed to have vaccinated over 200m EU citizens already....a physical impossibility, seeing as those doses haven't even been manufactured yet.

    Again, I'm not buying it.
    The US say that 90% of adults can get the vaccine in 3 weeks time. They distributed over 33 million doses this week.

    What are we at? Less than 100k a week, in Ireland, which at 1% of the EU total puts the EU at about 10 million vaccines in the same timeframe.

    So again, why is the EU lagging so far behind the UK and US? How can the US manufacture x3 more than the EU?


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,744 ✭✭✭✭ astrofool


    Do we have official numbers on that, e.g. expected quantities of doses from particular manufacturers on specific dates? Would we not need to see that before being confident that we will catch up?

    There is 3M due this quarter (might actually be 2.9M), with a further couple of million in July, the vaccine thread has all the data broken down, I would encourage you to read it through over there. Some of the supply might be backended in the month (e.g. J&J don't start shipping till mid April).


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,447 ✭✭✭ munchkin_utd


    expected deliveries :
    Ireland receives 1.1% of all vaccines allocated to EU member states. The Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson doses due for EU distribution in Q2 translates into just over 2.9 million doses for Ireland in April, May and June.

    If all deliveries go to plan and all doses are administered it will result in over 550,000 people in Ireland vaccinated with Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine, 192,500 with Moderna and 2 million million people with Pfizer/BioNTech.
    https://www.thejournal.ie/what-vaccine-deliveries-can-ireland-and-the-eu-expect-from-april-onwards-5388094-Mar2021/

    if promises are kept, then vaccine supply wont be the issue, getting them administered will be


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,050 ✭✭✭✭ Strazdas


    expected deliveries :


    https://www.thejournal.ie/what-vaccine-deliveries-can-ireland-and-the-eu-expect-from-april-onwards-5388094-Mar2021/

    if promises are kept, then vaccine supply wont be the issue, getting them administered will be

    That's a lot of Pfizer in Q2 - one wonders if they will have any criteria for who gets Pfizer and who gets J & J.


  • Administrators, Social & Fun Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 62,376 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭ Beasty


    I think one of the biggest issue with the European Medicines Agency was pre-Brexit it was based in the UK. Hence the UK inherited a large amount of expertise in this area. Add to that the EU just takes longer to agree things. Hence the UK politicians wee pressing for rapid approval of vaccines while the EU were prevaricating, asking additional questions of the vaccine makers leaving EU member states behind the likes of particularly the UK

    Hence to some extent it's a quirk of history and in particular Brexit, but it also highlights the inefficient way the EU can operate with virtually no visibility of EU leaders, and no EU-wide direction at crucial times during this pandemic


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,683 ✭✭✭ Wojtek the Bear


    Strazdas wrote: »
    It's believed that EU rollout is going to rapidly accelerate in the next eight weeks (starting almost immediately). Arrival of Johnson & Johnson vaccine on April 19th is definitely going to be a factor.

    Much of the narrative that the EU rollout is going terribly is coming from the jingoistic propaganda merchants of the English tabloids, who are trying to frame everything about the successful UK rollout at the EU's expense. They have twin objectives : get Johnson off the hook for his disastrous pandemic handling and make Brexit look like it was a good idea.

    Actually some of the narrative is from German newspapers also, who described the vaccination shambles as being "the perfect advertisement for Brexit". Another one had a headline: "Britain, we envy you".

    I think the Germans would have done a great job of it if they had gone alone. Instead they are slowed down by the politics bureaucracy side of the EU.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,683 ✭✭✭ Wojtek the Bear


    astrofool wrote: »
    EU has a huge volume of people to vaccinate, and it also supplying the rest of the world with vaccines, which is what's essential to prevent deaths and keep the virus under control, the EU strategy will save a lot more lives than the UK strategy, the only difference is that some of the deaths will have been prevented in a non-EU country.

    That will be scant comfort to the families of EU citizens whose deaths could have been prevented. "Oh but it's OK we shipped a load of vaccines to the developing world so it's all good we saved more lives"


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