Health 13-01-2022

Africa takes vaccination into its own hands

Africa can’t rely on wealthy nations for help in the face of empty promises, and vaccine hoarding writes Peter Burdin, former BBC Africa bureau editor.
Health 11-01-2022

To avoid more COVID-19 variants, we must vaccinate Africa

The rapid spread of the Omicron variant has reminded us that the pandemic will not be over until all countries have vaccinated their people. The EU should focus its attention on vaccinating Africa, writes Professor Alberto Mantovani.

The Brief – The heavy price of indecision

As governments tighten restrictions around Europe in a belated effort to halt the march of the Omicron variant, the question on everyone's mind is whether another lockdown is coming after, or even before, Christmas.

The Brief, powered by ELF — EU summit scoop

We live in frustrating times. As we face a powerful new COVID-19 wave, despite the relatively high vaccination rates in Europe, the EU Commission chief has proposed making jabs mandatory. An EU summit is likely to take place in the...

The Brief, powered by ELF — Nobody is safe until EU stops being hypocritical on vaccines

The mantra of EU officials that “nobody is safe until everybody is safe” is meaningless as long as the EU does not do enough to get vaccines to everybody. South Africa is the most recent victim of this hypocrisy.
Digital & Media 18-11-2021

The Brief, powered by Facebook — The Dirty Dozen

The European Commission has been caught by surprise. In its efforts to fight disinformation, it developed instruments to monitor Russia. However, new research shows that the anti-vaxxer disinformation campaign to which many EU citizens have fallen victim actually originates in the United States.

The Brief, powered by The Martens Centre — The East European COVID syndrome

It took a pandemic to realise just how different societies in the more successful West and in the less prosperous East of Europe are.

The Brief — Close encounter with anti-vaxxers

This author of the Brief is back from the country with the lowest vaccination rate in the EU – Bulgaria – where only 15.5% of the adult population is fully vaccinated, while the EU average is 70%. The authorities in...

The Brief, powered by UNESDA – Choosing freedom with courtesy

The idea of wearing face masks on public transport used to be anathema. The small number of people who did wear masks on the metro, at least in the UK, got odd looks, as though they were being insulting by refusing to share the same air as us.
Health 05-07-2021

We need global standards, not double standards, for COVID-19 vaccines 

The EU's decision to only allow people to travel to the region if they are fully vaccinated with a European Medicines Agency (EMA) recognized COVID-19 vaccine is discriminatory and puts vaccine uptake at risk, writes Thabani Maphosa.

The Brief, powered by ITI – Defeat in vaccine victory

In the innocent pre-pandemic world, who would have imagined that the EU would one day sue a pharmaceutical giant for not delivering on a contract for 300 million vaccine doses?
Politics 09-06-2021

The Brief – Strasbourg’s trip-for-jab package

While Europe is vaccinating its teens, without a second thought about giving away doses to vulnerable people in poorer countries, EU parliamentarians got an offer they could not refuse in return for their comeback to Strasbourg.

If we forcibly remove patents on vaccines, we are killing a golden industry

Instead of being sidetracked by the debate on waiving patents on COVID vaccines, the EU must come up with a new pharma strategy and strengthen its pharmaceutical industry, writes Pernille Weiss.

The Brief, powered by NGVA Europe – The Modi blues

As the past year has shown, finding the most balanced policy response to COVID-19 is often a case of trial and error. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi proclaimed in January that his government’s response, heavy on vaccine diplomacy, made it one of the victors of the pandemic.

The Brief, powered by NGVA Europe – Operation Saving Summer II

It’s roughly two to three months until millions of Europeans face the decision of where to spend their summer break from this second COVID-19 year. Yet this year’s summer holidays promise to become a minefield of (political) decisions. It’s been...

The Brief powered by NGVA Europe – Whatever it takes

Wealthy countries and pharmaceutical giants have a “moral obligation” to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are available to all. So says a group of more than 150 religious leaders, including the Dalai Lama, who are demanding commitments from the EU and...

The pandemic can be over, if we want it

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought much hardship and loss, not only to Europe but worldwide. Now, more than ever, as we look back on three million deaths and towards a third wave in Europe, we need strong leadership, writes Udo Bullmann.

The Brief, powered by FACEBOOK – Hold your horses

A crowd running from water cannons. An accredited journalist refused entry. The roar of police helicopters above a horde of shielded officers. Riderless horses roaming the streets. You’d be forgiven for thinking this was a scene from an uprising. But...
Enlargement 02-04-2021

Great Serbian vaccinationism

The decision of the Serbian authorities to open the door to their neighbours for vaccination has nothing to do with reviving warm memories of the former Yugoslavia, writes Orhan Dragaš.

The Brief, powered by bp – Not that ‘smart’ after all

All it took was a few hours of warm weather and the Brussels parks were suddenly flooded with hundreds of young people on Tuesday as if there had never been any confinement. Similar pictures could be seen across Europe - a clear sign that people are reaching their confinement limits during this seemingly never-ending pandemic.

The Brief, powered by amfori – The road to nowhere

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused mass trauma on a scale larger than World War II, and the impact will last “for many years to come,” the World Health Organisation’s top official has said. WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus believes that...
Global Europe 01-03-2021

The Brief, powered by FACEBOOK – Vaccine geopolitics

In any civilisation, one commodity is more precious than the others, and it naturally becomes the bedrock of power. Could be salt, could be gold, could be the US dollar. Now it’s the COVID-19 vaccines.
Development Policy 25-02-2021

Scaling up vaccination to save lives worldwide

It is time for Europe to show real vaccination solidarity to ensure that COVID vaccines are available to the Global South and COVAX in the volumes required and at cost price, write Udo Bullmann and Conny Reuter.
Health 11-02-2021

EU and India could partner in delivering COVID vaccines at the global scale

While Western vaccine nationalism condemns the world to a lose-lose situation, India, the pharmacy of the developing world, has clearly the potential to come to the rescue, writes Gauri Khandekar.