Britain's vaccination success drawing envious looks

With over four million infections and more than 117,000 deaths, Britain is one of the countries most severely hit by the coronavirus pandemic in Europe, and its crisis management has been widely criticised. But now the UK is taking the lead in terms of vaccination: 90 percent of the over-70s have already received the jab, prompting Prime Minister Boris Johnson to promise a "cautious but irreversible" lockdown lifting.

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Times of Malta (MT) /

London had the more effective strategy

The British didn't dawdle, Times of Malta writes in praise:

“They understood the risks of delay when faced with a global health crisis. They opened wide their wallets to conclude supply contracts in a market where it was always evident that demand would by far outstrip supply in the short term. The Commission's reaction, when faced with this failed procurement process, was at best pathetic. Rather than admit to their mistake, they engaged in a blame game accusing AstraZeneca of a gross breach of contract.”

Le Soir (BE) /

Universities and companies side by side

Britain's success in its vaccination strategy is also due to the fact that it's a world leader in biotechnology, explains Marc Roche, London correspondent for Le Soir:

“British universities are completely free to partner up with the private sector to exploit their discoveries commercially. Companies offer financing, industrial know-how and technological support. The university supplies the latest findings of its professors and researchers. As is the case in California, a number of multinational corporations have set up shop in the Cambridge-Oxford-London triangle to recruit doctoral students and fund research. The university usually retains the patent. It's a win-win situation.”

Visão (PT) /

Brexit is good for Britain

Clearly Brexit improved Britain's ability to deal with the pandemic, Visão writes approvingly:

“Not being part of the EU can have many negative aspects. The fact is, however, that in this global health crisis in which the only way out is general restrictions or vaccination, Britain is doing an exemplary job. As of today, 23 [doses have been administered] for every 100 citizens; those over 70, hospital and healthcare workers, those living in retirement homes and people with severe illnesses have all been vaccinated [sic]. ... In Israel, 74 [doses have been administered] for every 100 inhabitants and herd immunity has been achieved. The British will reach this level at the start of the summer. … Boris Johnson made good use of Britain's sovereignty and financial power. A Brexit like this does nothing but good.”