EU leaders have not covered themselves in glory but vaccine nationalism is good for no one - Yorkshire Post letters

From: Peter Packham, Shadwell Lane, Leeds.

French President Emmanuel Macron. Photo by THOMAS COEX/AFP via Getty Images.

Whilst agreeing with Mark Casci (The Yorkshire Post, March 23) that some EU member leaders, particularly Emmanuel Macron, have not covered themselves in glory over their vaccine rollout, I am afraid Mr Casci has been seduced by vaccine nationalism.

The EU is not behind any of the criticism of the AstraZeneca vaccine, the concerns have come from the individual members’ medical agencies.

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Several non-EU countries have also expressed concerns, including Norway, Iceland and the USA.

There is nothing the UK has done that could not have been done as a member of the EU, indeed Dr June Raine, the head of the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, confirmed in December that use of the AstraZeneca vaccine was authorised under EU law.

Mr Casci complains that the EU has threatened to stop exporting vaccines to the UK that have been paid for.

This is because the EU are also in this position whilst continuing to supply other countries, in fact the EU has exported more than 40 million doses of vaccine to 31 countries including 10 million doses to the UK.

How many doses has the UK exported? None.

In fact the UK government bans the export of 174 medicines because they are “needed for UK patients”.

Vaccine nationalism is no good to anybody and all parties need to turn down the rhetoric and work together to beat this virus.

From: Ken Cooke, Ilkley.

Correspondents crowing about the ‘British’ vaccine, like James Kenny and J A King (The Yorkshire Post, March 23), need to remember that the ‘Astra’ half of AstraZeneca is Swedish and that Sweden is a member of the EU.

Moreover, the vaccine was developed during 2020 when the UK was still following EU regulations on medicines. The UK formally left the EU on December 31 2020.

There is absolutely no way this vaccine success can be credited to Brexit.

Industrial and academic research projects in the UK are very international and have a long tradition of employing scientists of EU origin.

Now the Brexit regime opposes the employment of European scientists and they are leaving in droves. Our loss.