No matter how many times the “no-deal Brexit” simulation and rehearsal have been carried out in response to the “no-deal Brexit” until the British-French border was suddenly and truly closed for 48 hours due to the coronavirus epidemic, did it be clearly realized that Britain and the European Union were not actually ready for Britain’s substantial “no-deal Brexit”.
Less than 10 days before the expiration of the Brexit transition period, the changing epidemic situation in Britain has made Britain and Europe taste the taste of “hard Brexit” in advance.
On December 14th local time, British Health Secretary Matthew Hancock said that a mutant novel coronavirus is spreading in parts of England. The next day, Hancock said in an interview that only limiting social contact can control the spread of the novel coronavirus. These statements on the British side triggered the “domino” effect.
Since the 20th, many countries have announced measures such as closing their borders and grounding flights to and from the United Kingdom.
The “stress response” of European countries is in sharp contrast to the negative anti-epidemic performance in the early stage of the COVID-19 epidemic.
The twists and turns of the epidemic have made European leaders place more hope on the coronavirus vaccine in addition to strengthening prevention and control measures.
On December 21, European Commission President von der Leyen said that the European Union had officially approved the commissioning of the coronavirus vaccine (“Pfizer coronavirus vaccine”) jointly developed by Pfizer Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and German Biotechnology Company. Earlier that day, Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine was approved by the European Drug Administration.
It is worth noting that the European Drug Administration announced the results of the review more than a week earlier than originally planned on December 29. In the next few days, the first vaccines will be shipped from Pfizer’s production base in Belgium.” This is the news we have been waiting for.” Italy’s health minister, Speranza, said, “The coronavirus vaccine has given us more strength and confidence.”
Reuters’ previous analysis believes that the approval and distribution of the coronavirus vaccine will test Brussels’ ability to “unify Europe” under the political pressure of accelerating the political process and responding to the pandemic.
Von der Leyen has confirmed that vaccine distribution will follow the principle of fairness and be made available to all EU countries at the same time and under the same conditions. The vaccine will also be distributed to all 27 EU countries based on population rather than wealth, and each country will pay the same price. Governments in Germany, France, Italy, Austria and other countries have indicated that they plan to start mass vaccination on December 27.
EU policymakers described the launch of the vaccine as an opportunity to show EU solidarity in the face of the threat of the virus. T
he United Kingdom, which is in the final stage of Brexit, first refused to join the EU’s coronavirus vaccine program in July and then chose to “snatch away” at the vaccination stage.
As the first Western country to approve the use of the coronavirus vaccine, the British government approved the emergency use of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine as early as December 2. On December 8, the largest vaccination program in British history was officially launched. According to Johnson on December 21, more than half a million people have been vaccinated against the novel coronavirus in Britain.
Hancock cried excitedly when he talked about the British people starting to vaccinate against the novel coronavirus, claiming that he was “proud of being British”. With the Brexit deadline approaching, such a rhetoric has aroused strong dissatisfaction among European countries.
In fact, the rapid approval of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine was not caused by Brexit, the BBC reported. Although the UK officially left the EU in January last year, the UK still needs to comply with EU regulations before the end of the transition period on December 31, and the British health regulator only uses an emergency power that can be used by all EU member states.
At a time of skepticism and false information, EU drug regulators are cautiously critical of Britain’s move. Just the day after the official launch of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccination in the United Kingdom, two NHS health workers developed allergic symptoms after being exposed to vaccination.
In order to relieve public anxiety, the British Drug and Health Products Administration immediately updated the official guidelines for the use of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine, believing that anyone with a history of vaccines, drugs or food allergies is not suitable for vaccination.
Some mainstream media have also begun to popularize the distinction between general allergy and fatal allergic shock, citing data from the Pfizer and Modner vaccine phase III trials to explain that reactions such as fatigue, muscle soreness and headache are common phenomena.
Medical experts believe that similar to the possible side effects of influenza vaccination, this may mean that the body of the vaccinator is responding to the vaccine.
As things stand, like the European Union, the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine is the only option available in the UK at present. Although the United Kingdom has ordered 7 million doses of Modena vaccine, the U.S. government has an exclusive agreement on Modena vaccine, and no major breakthrough is expected to be made in delivery in the UK by early spring next year.
In addition, another “European-grown” coronavirus vaccine developed by Sanofi in France and GlaxoSmithKline of the United Kingdom has recently postponed the development of the immune response of elderly subjects due to substandard immune response, and is expected to be launched until the end of 2021.
The topic of the effectiveness of existing vaccines for COVID-19 has also become a hot topic overnight. Johnson took the lead in stressing on December 19 that the coronavirus vaccine is still effective against the virus. On the 21st, Ryan, executive director of the WHO Emergency Health Project, said that don’t panic too much about any new changes.
Everything is a “normal” part of the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the situation has not yet been “out of control”. This statement is obviously different from what British Health Secretary Hancock said two days ago that the epidemic was “out of control”.
Ryan said that so far, the epidemic and virus changes have not been unexpected, and have not had a significant impact on coronavirus drugs, treatments, detection methods and vaccines.
Sachin, the head of the German biotechnology company, also said on the 22nd that the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine currently has no impact on the novel coronavirus. Even if a new vaccine is needed, the company can produce and provide vaccination within six weeks.
In light of the not-optimistic outlook for vaccine supply, there is a growing demand that the European Union approve the Oxford vaccine, which is easier to produce and transport at refrigerator temperatures, as soon as possible, to stop the spread of the epidemic.
The UK has ordered 100 million doses of Oxford vaccine, and 4 million doses have entered the country so far.
Several polls show that the proportion of respondents who say they are willing to receive coronavirus vaccination in both the UK and EU countries can always maintain more than half.
In the face of the tendency of “betting” on vaccines in Britain and Europe, many people have also issued warnings. WHO Director-General Tedros Tedros has said that the arrival of the coronavirus vaccine has given people “a light at the end of the tunnel”, but only if we end the epidemic at the same time everywhere can we really end the epidemic.
This means that certain people in all countries must be vaccinated, not everyone in certain countries.” Tedros stressed that vaccines will not replace existing tools to stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives, but are a beneficial supplement.
The traditional Christmas and New Year holidays in the West have begun, and the travel ban caused by the change of the epidemic is more like a wake-up call for Britain and Europe.
But in the final analysis, it is what people on both sides of the English Channel need to do more seriously to comply with epidemic prevention regulations.