Brussels/London: – While the new strain of Coronavirus is playing havoc in Europe, the wave of resentment seems to have intensified in the European countries over the Coronavirus vaccine issues. The vaccination program’s inconsistencies have prompted protests and violence in European countries like Denmark, Netherlands and Poland, and the prime minister’s effigy was burned in Denmark during the protests. While the smoothly progressing vaccination drive in the United Kingdom, who has exited from the European Union and the chaos in the countries criticising it, has brought the issue of failure of the European Union once again on the anvil.
The main agencies and experts from the World Health Organisation (WHO) have warned that there is a third wave of Coronavirus pandemic in Europe. As per the information given by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the number of Coronavirus cases in the European countries has reached 32.2 million and more than 700,000 people have died in the pandemic. It has been exposed that the pandemic’s intensity is more, in main countries like the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Spain. At the same time, the WHO and experts have warned that expediting the vaccination drive and retaining the restrictions will be the important measures to control the intensity of the pandemic.
Against this background, it was expected that the European Union’s vaccination drive, started in the last month, will be expedited. But in reality, there is a major confusion in this regard. It has been revealed that the imprudent decisions taken by the people leading the Union and officials are responsible for the chaos. The European Union has currently approved Pfizer-Biotech and Moderna vaccines and has also signed an agreement with AstraZeneca-Oxford for 300 million doses of the vaccine. However, today, the available vaccines’ distribution and administration are not being handled efficiently; the Union has failed to build a proper system for this purpose.
Only 23,000 people have received the vaccine dose in a small country like Latvia, having a population of a mere 2 million. Only 225,000 people have received the vaccine out of the Danish population of 6 million. There have been delays in vaccinating even the health workers; this is increasing unrest in the citizens. A few days ago, protestors in Denmark gave slogans against Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen. It even burned his effigy.
Pictures of serpentine queues outside the vaccination centres in Poland, with a population of 37.5 million are being published. But the citizens upset with these delays in vaccination have started protests in capital Warsaw. Till date, only 1.1 million citizens have received the vaccine dose. Therefore, indications are that the protests will intensify further.
Protests are also being held in Amsterdam’s Dutch capital, and there were instances of stone pelting on the police. The Netherlands has a population of 17.5 million. Out of these, hardly 215,000 citizens have received the vaccine.
Only 2.5% of the German population of 82.5 million have been vaccinated. Whereas, in Italy, only 1.8 million have received the vaccine dose out of the total population of 60 million. Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte has issued a warning for legal action against the vaccine producing companies. Hungary, considered to be the rebel in the European Union, has decided to directly purchase vaccines from Russia and China to increase vaccination rate. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban justified the decision saying that while the Hungarian citizens are dying due to the pandemic, the Hungarian government cannot wait for the delays of the officials of the European Union. There is severe resentment in countries like France, Spain, Romania, Bulgaria, Ireland and Estonia and the confusion in the European leadership has been exposed. Earlier, the differences and failures of the European Union regarding immigrants, border security, economy and Brexit have been exposed. Now there is this addition of Coronavirus pandemic and vaccination drive; it will only result in increasing the internal tensions in the Union.