REAL CLEAR HEALTH
by Joel White
For many Americans, the calamitously slow vaccine roll-out in countries like Germany, France, and Italy comes as a surprise. After all, in the early days of the pandemic, Europe’s response to the crisis seemed highly competent, especially compared to the United States.
But the sluggish vaccination campaign in these nations is actually quite predictable. For years, European policymakers have imposed strict price controls on new pharmaceuticals – and those price caps have delayed patients’ access to cutting-edge medicines. The same story is now playing out with Covid-19 vaccines.
Amazingly, Congress is now seeking to emulate Europe’s failed price control policies. Europe’s botched vaccine rollout ought to make lawmakers reconsider.
Four months after the first Covid-19 vaccine earned authorization, large portions of Europe are still struggling to inoculate their populations. In Germany, Italy, and France, only about 15 percent of patients have received at least one vaccine dose. Such massive delays have led to another wave of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Europe, and a fresh round of lockdowns.
Consider that the United States – which is far more populated than any of those three nations – has administered at least one dose of the vaccine to 36 percent of the population, and has fully vaccinated one in five people. The result has been a steady decline in the country’s death rate.Download the Article
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