Dissatisfaction with the European Union's ability to secure a sufficiently rapid supply of coronavirus vaccines will continue to grow.
Last late Monday night, Austria and Denmark announced they would begin vaccine cooperation with Israel.
Read more: See how many of your peers have been vaccinated in your home country - 30 Finnish municipalities are in the EU target
The matter was reported by e.g.
the Austrian Kurier and the Danish Politiken.
According to Kurier, the cooperation would involve joint vaccine production and research and would cover so-called second-generation coronary vaccines being developed for new virus variants in the coming years.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz told Kurier that Austria needs to prepare for new variants of the coronavirus.
Kurz estimates that due to viral variants, the pandemic will remain a nuisance for a long time to come.
- We need to prepare for the post-summer time well in advance, Kurz told Kurier.
Austria alone estimates that it will need about 30 million doses of vaccine in the coming years if it vaccinates two-thirds of its adult population each year in the coming years.
Such a quantity of vaccine cannot be left to Austria alone by the EU's tangled joint procurement mechanism.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz wants his country to prepare for viral variants in time. Photo: LISI NIESNER / Reuters
- In the summer, we agreed that the EU would deliver the vaccines to the member states in good time and that they would be procured quickly.
That was right in principle, but the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is too slow in approving vaccines, and there have also been bad bottlenecks in deliveries, Kurz told Kurier.
Kurz will travel to Israel on Thursday with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.
Kurz and Frederiks are in talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel.
Before the trip, Kurz will meet with representatives of pharmaceutical companies as well as the country’s leading medical experts and professors.
In Politiken, Frederiksen even called for the construction of a joint vaccine production facility in Israel, which would secure the countries' vaccine needs.
- We are talking about what concrete measures we can take to increase vaccine production.
It can be a public-private partnership.
I don’t rule out any ideas - I don’t even build a vaccine factory, Frederiksen said.
Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiks spoke about the construction of a joint vaccine plant in Denmark, Austria and Israel. Photo: Jens Dresling / Ritzau / Reuters
Many other countries have also suffered with the EU's slow pace in vaccine approval and delivery.
Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have already made their own detachments from EU countries, having acquired or are in the process of acquiring Sputnik V vaccine from Russia.
Hungary has also introduced the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine.
Israel, for its part, has received much admiration worldwide for its vaccine program.
In Israel, nearly 95 percent of the adult population has already received at least one dose.
In Finland, 8.2 per cent of adults have received a single dose.