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Vaccine nationalism is tempting—but not wise

The life-or-death scramble for jabs is new, but the underlying logic is familiar from political economy. And in the end, the best way for a nation to serve its people is to co-operate with the rest of the world

By Tony Yates  

Photo: Frank Hoermann/SVEN SIMON/DPA/PA Images

The EU and AstraZeneca (AZ) are in a stand-off. The EU took longer to approve the AZ vaccine, and production of it has been slower in EU-based than UK plants, which are to give priority to UK distribution. The plot thickens with confusions about who knew what, when about this prioritisation.  

To break the impasse, the EU could seek legal action to requisition the output of UK plants. If that succeeded, it would divert supplies from the UK, slowing down vaccine delivery here. The UK might then weigh options to reverse this—actions which may or may not breach…

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