Green light for vaccine: time to celebrate?
Following the conditional approval for the first coronavirus vaccine, EU states plan to begin their vaccination programmes on December 27. "We are adding an important chapter to our fight against Covid-19," said EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen after the decision. Europe's press also sees the move as a milestone.
Another reason why EU membership is worthwhile
The coronavirus crisis is clearly demonstrating the advantages of EU membership, Večernji list points out:
“In the beginning there was the Coal and Steel Community. The European Union emerged from this. The new-generation EU will consist of a different connective tissue than coal and steel: namely the jointly procured and distributed vaccine against Covid-19 and the coronavirus recovery plan, which is based on the idea that in this worst crisis no one who asks for help will be left empty-handed. ... It is hard to imagine that Croatia would have received so many doses of an effective vaccine without the support it receives as an EU member. Not to mention the money it will get to rebuild its economy after the coronavirus crisis. Croatia benefits in every way from EU membership.”
Vaccination campaign is acid test for government
U.S. President-elect Joe Biden received the coronavirus vaccine live on television on Tuesday. La Repubblica columnist Dario Cresto-Dina thoroughly approves:
“It would be nice to see similar images in our country. ... Without popular uprisings, crude accusations of favouritism or the primacy of caste. ... It won't happen, we're not mature enough for that. But the government must know that the vaccination campaign will be its test, the yardstick against which Prime Minister Conte's fragile leadership will be measured. It has the obligation to bring the whole country to safety without delay, leaving no one behind. Does this government have the strength to accomplish this historic task?”
No faith in salvation
Fear of the coronavirus is now being replaced by the fear of the coronavirus vaccine, writes news.bg:
“This is a first: sensible people fear salvation from danger as much as they fear the danger itself, if not more. ... Instead of looking with open eyes to see when and where a cure will materialise and how we can get our hands on it first, we're afraid of this cure too. That can only mean one thing: we are suspicious of both danger and redemption. ... The reason for this is the definitive death of trust, because nobody believes in honesty and good intentions anymore.”
Light at the end of the tunnel
Journalist Quique Peinado recommends that those who are weary of the coronavirus restrictions think back to last Easter, when almost 1,000 people were dying every day in Spain from coronavirus:
“Perhaps by next Easter the vaccination will have built up sufficient protection for us to be able to move around once more. It could be that by the summer we only have to wear masks indoors. I don't know if you will find that helpful, but when I'm feeling desperate, tired, bored or disillusioned over this never-ending nightmare I think back to 31 March. One of the worst days imaginable. We've been through too much crap and we're too close to the finish line to give up now. Perhaps this will be our penultimate effort.”