Europeans hoped for a better and happier year in 2021 – after seemingly endless months of Covid illness, deaths and pandemic-linked economic misery. However, so far, the EU has not covered itself in glory. EU countries lag significantly behind Israel, the UK and the US in getting jabs into arms.
A number of EU members have stumbled nationally, too, with heavily criticised roll-outs of the vaccines they did manage to obtain, in Germany, Belgium, Bulgaria and beyond.
Meanwhile, this week, a number of EU countries have suspended use of AstraZeneca, following reports of blood clots in some recipients.
Many around the continent have called the decision “political” and even accused leaders of putting more lives at risk.
Nicola Magrini, the director general of the Italian medicines authority, told daily newspaper la Repubblica that the Oxford vaccine was safe and that the benefit to risk ratio of the jab was “widely positive”.
As trust in the EU’s strategy continues to dwindle, Professor of economist at George Mason University Tyler Cohen has explained how Brexit Britain will emerge from the crisis as the winner.
He wrote: “I’ll say it again, whether it is AI, the Oxford/Astrazeneca vaccine, the speed of the current vaccination programme, this switch to greener energy, the reemergence of Oxbridge, the new Dominic Cummings-inspired DARPA-like science funding plan, or London being the world’s best city — current Great Britain remains grossly underrated.”
Matt Clifford, co-founder and CEO of Entrepreneur First, the world’s leading talent investor, added on Twitter: “Tyler Cowen is right.
“Britain is underrated by its critics, internal and external.
“Lots to be optimistic about.”
So far more than 24 million people have already received a first dose of Covid vaccine in the UK.
Vaccination teams are now working their way through the priority list of people in their fifties and younger adults with disability.
UK experts say there will be a big increase in the number of people being offered Covid vaccinations in the coming days.
The number of shots given is expected to top 4 million this week, nearly double what has been achieved per week recently, NHS sources say.
It should mean all over 50s will have been given at least one dose by the end of the month.
That would put the NHS rollout two weeks ahead of schedule.
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London appealed most to highly educated people and those working in digital or professional roles.
London appears to be the most popular for workers from countries with historic and language links to the UK, such as South Africa and Nigeria, as well as for those with historic working links, such as Portugal and Romania.
The most favoured sectors in London were the legal (21 percent), insurance (21 percent), finance (20 percent), and health and social care sectors (18 percent).
The UK retained its fifth place in rankings of the most desirable countries for work, while the US lost its spot at the top of the list for the first time.