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tv   Inside Story  Al Jazeera  April 23, 2021 8:30pm-9:01pm +03

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4 times as many people died in africa from malaria last year as died from code and africa has registered. vaccines on emergency legislation so if we could do the same for malaria. we would get reduced ration much faster assuming the results are good enough because the last malaria vaccine went into those 3 or 6 years to get a decision from the regulator authority really is too slow these days the international olympic committee has confirmed that athletes who make political or social justice protests at the take care games could be punished athletes showing their support for movements like black lies master hath become common but the i.o.c. say waving a fist or kneeling for a national anthem won't be allowed. to
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thousands there are these are your top stories at least 13 people have died in a fire at a hospital treating kovan 19 patients in india it comes as some hospitals warn they are short of oxygen just surging cases across the country the japanese government has imposed a state of emergency in tokyo a suck up kyoto yogo as infections surge prime minister you're shaheed a surrogate is facing pressure to act to surge in infection. a funeral ceremony for todd's late president idriss deby has been held in the capital and jemima debbie was seriously injured last weekend while battling rebels who launched an offensive from libya he died on monday his son mohammad idriss deby is now in power and will lead a transitional military council for the next 18 months. this and therefore the people of the region enjoy this part with france we have to make sure that the pact
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lives on and that of liberty and independence france will not let anybody question operating today or tomorrow child is stability and territorial integrity france will be here to ensure that the promise which was made will be realized we're all part. and democratic transition this is what we want by your side that the search for missing indonesian submarine with 53 people on board has reached a critical point oxygen supplies on board are set to run out in less than 2 hours crews are working in waters around the island of bali and other countries are helping families of those on board say they're praying for their loved ones those are your headlines news continues here on just there are often side stories every us.
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already and saud's the european union wants to sue astra zeneca the company is accused of failing to deliver the agreed numbers of cars with 90 vaccines but will legal action work who benefits and how much of this is really about politics this is inside story. hello and welcome to the program i'm peter davi the e.u. is the biggest exporter of coronavirus vaccines anywhere in the world yet within
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its own borders the rate of inoculation has been disappointing the world health organization is warning that could prolong the pandemic major member states such as germany france and italy are all struggling to cope with another wave of infections while vaccination campaigns continue to be hit by delivery delays the european commission is reportedly weighing illegal action against the vaccine manufacturer astra zeneca the british swedish firm was contracted last september to deliver 180000000 doses to the e.u. by the 2nd quarter of this year but it slashed its deliveries by 2 thirds of what it's calling manufacturing issues and open occasions 2 of the bias this was reportedly discussed among e.u. ambassadors on weapons day when most of them said they would support suing this pharmaceutical giant but several countries including germany and france well they were raising concerns. the european commission spokesman neither confirmed nor
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denied the reports before there are steps are taken or would be taken decisions taken by any commission together with the member states as again this is a strategy that we implement together with the member states and so for the county to come into question we are in it only options which help us to ensure newsroom of course a spokesman for astra zeneca says the company was not aware of any legal proceedings but it says it will continue regular discussions about supply with the european commission and e.u. member states we'll bring in our panel shortly but 1st let's take a closer look at inoculation campaigns across europe the e.u. is vaccine rollout has fared poorly compared to other developed economies only around 10 percent of the blocks 900000000 people have so far received a single dose of a vaccine but the situation changed this week with germany in the early doubling the pace of vaccinations following
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a boost in supplies it's also decided to let general practitioners administer the jabs france italy and spain are expected to follow that lead. ok let's bring in the panel from reading we have simon clague head of division of biomedical sciences and biomedical engineering at the university of reading in new delhi we have rajiv dust gupta chairperson of the center of social medicine and community health. rebel nehru university and in copenhagen we have jeff lazarus head of health systems at the barcelona institute for global health gentlemen welcome to you all jeff in copenhagen coming to you 1st what's to be gained here for the people of europe if the european commission goes to court. i'm not sure there's really much to gain i see this is a bit of a diversion from the real problem we have which is a lack of doses we need to focus on increasing production i don't know if the e.u.
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is that going to recover funds a lift in that into diverts doses from where astra zeneca vaccine is be supplied elsewhere if that's the case and i understand it but it doesn't make much sense i mean a pandemic is a global epidemic in a zone is the doses are being used that's the top priority the e.u. is producing yes there's an economic scene in very few countries so we need to look at where we can up the production capacity so i'm in clark in reading is this just political point scoring but it does seem to be the. critical point scoring yes i mean you have to ask yourself are. efforts to this credit the senate does that seem insensitive if if if the state safety why it's parts of europe is it came to get over it the germans for instance. looking to. tell you know what seem pretty they're going to the russians so it does seem
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a bit all right it does cooper in delhi from where you are is this a particularly acute issue in as much as there are issues of procurement and procurement specifically in india because you are going through a vicious 2nd wave of coronavirus there. yes it's a quite led set of issues as fires india's vantage point goes the 1st is that beginning crew india expanded the vaccination program so those 45 years and above and then beginning me in a more recent decision it's open door than dollars and that's 18 years and above which has obviously led to an enormous increase in the demand for vaccines at that point india had only 2 axioms the astra zeneca went back to base elements and the other one the vax vaccine went back to read about it by
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a day and only recently this what nick was given the arc raises and to be important initially what all this means is that there was a report as early as late march that in the interim government has decided that debate is not to be under court according to that report expanding the export of vaccines over the next couple of months and that's what we are essentially witnessing now it's also the case that this will affect the contribution to the cortex initiative of the w.h.o. which incidentally will entail its 2nd the year tomorrow jeff moving forward globally is at the nub of this debate whether it goes to court or not or whether it goes begins going through a legal system and then they all agree and then they get beyond that there's an issue here of contracts because coronavirus cove it manufacturing a vaccine that's here to stay procurement is here to stay as
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a global issue moving forward in the continuing fight against coronavirus so whether the contracts were woolly or flawed is the central issue what was written into the contracts that the e.u. signed up to or was it that the head of procurement for the european commission who has his critics a lot of them didn't actually spot that the contracts weren't as good as they could have been. well given that you know the contacts have really been redacted and we haven't you know been able to read them in death i think the issue at hand is at astra zeneca probably over promised i mean leave the world has never been in a situation where we've had to produce so many vaccines so quickly so other companies have also probably over promised but they're vaccines aren't necessarily or haven't been approved yet so we don't know if they'll be able to deliver but astra zeneca promised a lot of vaccines more than that and more they could produce to 2 different
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countries so i think there's you know probably some errors made on the part of the e.u. prop definitely some errors on the part of of astra zeneca but again the issue at hand is how do we increase the production and since the e.u.'s making such a large purchase you know what kind of oversight was there during the entire production process at the end of 2020 you know and in the early 2021 it wasn't until astra zeneca made it known that it wouldn't be able to deliver of the agreed upon contractually doses of the e.u. suddenly it reported that they were sending a team to look into the production for me that was too late and 4 months later we're still facing this production shortage and as you know was just mentioned you know countries like denmark and put up outright ban on astra zeneca last monday they reversed that country like spain is only using it for those aged $60.00 to
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$69.00 so on the one hand like simon said we're hearing that there's concerns in europe with astra zeneca even to the point of starting to discredit it to some extent and then we hear that we're going to possibly take legal proceedings due to you know failing to meet contractual obligations i think there's a disconnect there and i think it's a bit of a distraction so i don't clock in writing staying with that idea of somebody some place should have oversight would we not be in the situation. if everyone either astra zeneca and or the european commission had from the get go gone for complete 100 percent total transparency because you do one does get that sense doesn't on that astra zeneca doesn't really like to talk it doesn't like to you know come down from its ivory tower and on the other hand the european commission doesn't really like to discuss its procurement process or its contractual process and that's why the u.k. has ended up 4 months ahead very quickly 4 months ahead of the rest of the european
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union. yeah there is a lot of. smoke and mirrors around this it seems and people you're quite right ben might discuss what has been agreed jeff used the phrase we've got it for the contracts we don't we don't know what was promised or perhaps what was expected and reasonably are actually wrote from either party so until we get a better window on that clearer view it's very very difficult for those of us were watching commentating on race and of course the general public to form an accurate view that it's almost impossible. really from both sides i think you've got a bit of a game creating a bit of p.r. manipulation going on and it's really very unhelpful wretched diskeeper in delhi if jess lazarus in copenhagen has got this right and this is nothing more than a slightly sick big detour and politicians will bureaucrats passing the buck is
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that something that you're aware of at ground 0 of a very bad 2nd wave the politicians they want to talk about what we're doing but they don't want to talk about what they haven't done or what they haven't achieved and they would always like to turn the the anglepoise lights of inquiry someplace else. you know when the depends where the politicians are looking for counsel are looking for corroboration yes as any guys one commentator had quoted couple of weeks back had indeed become a sort of a political football and despite all this controversy is the stop start in some of the countries over the summer but this aspect of trying member of the event the fact is that the asters and it does remain the work cause for many countries including in his contribution to the cause x. plus the demands the men just up there in india now as far as the indian domestic
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commitment goes it's only in the last few days that the government of india has made an additional purchase order which is a sort of a commitment of $400000000.00 u.s. dollars work will this element sort of india and $200000000.00 to be added by a tick through to pre-book in a sense axioms for the next couple of months and that's certainly going to have a bearing on what its international commitments and delivery is on those commitments would be jeff lazarus in copenhagen how much of the buck should stop with the european commission president on the line in as much as she wasn't great according to her critics when she was percolating her way through german politics that's why angela merkel abstained on her appointment as european commission president and apparently reportedly it has been claimed in certain areas of the international media that the french president emmanuel macro actually quite liked
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the idea of having a bit of a rubbish european commission president because he could kind of filter through her lack of traction as president his desired goal for the european union and then along comes coronavirus along comes covert 19. well i mean nobody benefits from the failings of the european commission obviously the president is ultimately responsible for everything that happens but she has a large team and while it's true we have been procured like this before and have been problems for a long time and making joint procurements a reality in the european union and then this is a large commission with with many experts. and we would have expected that there would have been over say during not just the contractual process not just the hundreds of millions of dollars investment invested in developing the vaccines but
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also in in assuring the production so again i would just reiterate that we are where we are and we're facing a shortage and if the european commission sued and if it was resolved quickly in the courts and if it meant that more doses were provided to the e.u. and for example in a country like india and it were taken from a country like india i don't think that would any one given the current state of affairs in the massive transmission. that's going on in india right now so not really sure what they're trying to achieve through the court case and again i would be investing the money in production states because we know that there are production sites that could be producing the vaccines in the that aren't being used and that still for me a great mystery why we're not producing whether you know asters and it is that scene or others i know that france is going to start producing the pfizer vaccine but i think there's still more capacity within the e.u. and elsewhere to to produce that axioms and i think it's in the interest of the
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companies there's been lots of discussions around patents and patent liberalization and licensing but i mean no one saying that we're not going to pay for the doses that says how to increase that production so i mean does this feed into the understandable anger and frauds because to the day $365.00 days off the lot. one in france france went into lockdown too and french people up and down france even in paris even slightly you know slightly left leaning labor supporting the for the french capital paris people were saying hang on we been here before we've been here frozen in aspic for a year and nothing has changed. yeah i think i don't know the french population our oh totally within their rights to complain that there hasn't been enough movement on this t.v. if they were to look over the channel and see how pretty it going to be here they
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continue to do that i think though. there is always been a story reluctance to accept vaccines in france compared to what's been seen in other countries but it certainly doesn't help that people like my numerical call caught the astra zeneca vaccine but was it a craze i mean effective there was a lot of silly. nationalistic politics bandied around and voters in france should ask themselves whether they were well served by that i would contend that they weren't rajiv descriptor in delhi we can't know for sure at the moment whether the european commission or various european leaders and learning the lessons here because of their relationship with the supra national organization such as the european commission but where you are what are the lessons that the
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politicians at federal level and the state level have learnt so far particularly because they go into this wave to no. this is a very important question and india is actually grappling with this question now. the various states and particularly the high incidence states in this 2nd wave. in a contrarian position with the courts that the high courts of 6 states have actually taken no view on how how things are going and whether there should be logged on so there are completely contrarian views between the court and the state governments on lockdown decisions at the same time the supreme court also has stepped in taken so i want to cognizance and made a case that this is a national emergency the point therefore is that if if anything that that the lesson from the last year is and that's across the world that this does require
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central planning this doesn't require require a whole lot of central core to nation but it also requires locally districts to be able to for those to play out on the ground and that coordination seems to be wavering in many parts of the world as as analysis come out to flatter us in copenhagen and we also may be seeing a time now or we are entering a period of time where european commission bureaucrats have to actually read the writing on the wall and be aware of what's happening in the world because one of the cove it me one of the davos summits not the one just gone but the one before that cove it had hit. funda lion didn't talk about it the american delegation in davos did they said there is this pandemic coming people and we have got to deal with it and deal with it together but according to the european commission president oh she wasn't on the talk about it she gave a speech about libya and about a small mini migrant crisis on the border of the e.u.
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with turkey and that was it has the time come for the european commission to start behaving like politicians instead of job for life bureaucrats. well there's are harsh words for it clearly europe and many other countries dropped the bar both in terms of pandemic preparedness over the last decade but also in terms of you know responding strongly to this pandemic we've seen a lack of collaboration around the world and also within the e.u. among the member states we've seen a lack of solidarity and when we see you know when we see mistakes being made we see that they're not being that defied very quickly said i think it is a it you know a it's a warning signal to the commission that the population expects and the more responsive more organized and globally that we're going to need probably some sort
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of super organization in terms of pandemic preparedness and i think did a great job at the beginning in warning the world at that they continued they were and continued to be criticized for their role that w.h.o. informed the member states already in early january 2020 and it took a long time for e.u. member states and many other countries to respond simon clark does this also expose a certain hypocrisy on the part of the drugs companies astra zeneca we're talking about today but also the commission seems to me that what they should be doing is one fixing covert to fixing coded 3 fixing cove it instead of going to court primacy seems to be that the european commission is a bit ticked off because the contract wasn't what it should have been whereas if they fixed cove it they could then go on to help other countries such as india which are really heading into such a bad place right now. but i think this is really
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a political question rather than one of the pharmaceutical companies it's not really a business question because they are producing at quite a rates as much vaccine as they possibly can you know conscious flip a switch these things but it takes months to produce these vaccines a batch of these vaccines they can just be churned out you know it may be the next few days so maybe there is only so much they can do they are invested in production facilities and of course you have to remember that they invested in this production facilities when they had no idea that any of these facts it's actually work now 2 they would have taken some come for that from different governments so it seems really that they should have had. an agreement in place as to what 3rd agreement as to what was going to be produced and where even when you've got agreements like that you have to accept that producing these things is
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a biological process the things capitation to do go wrong so there needs to be something that's ability in ways that understand that really you can't always get what you want with these things and sometimes things go wrong so i think you need to be a bit more grown up on both sides about their expectations rajiv does this add to a preexisting narrative and i guess one wants to condemn bureaucrats and politicians because the takeaway for people who are living through coronavirus uncovered 19 is mismanagement misselling of a message and it's confusion and it's anger and this kind of legal process just feels that even more. is that legal process may in the final analysis as be quite simple slow us but something that perhaps god gets overlooked in this context is this magical figure of 60 percent that provides manufactor 60 percent of
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the global vaccines a reasoned analysis points to the fact that while in the aggregate that may be true for childhood vaccines but as far as influenza and this group of vaccines is concerned india's contribution to the global pool in the market that is has been around 20 percent and therefore it begets the question that was it over estimated to begin with it in other words where the as i'm since misplaced that's a question i suppose that requires deeper analysis very very briefly jeff last word to you 20 seconds how does the commission how do the politicians how to the drugs companies come out of this. they collaborate more to find a quick and effective resolution to the current situation the scale of production and the us to discuss how they're going to work together moving forward to end this pandemic and the future again gentlemen we have to leave it there thank you to our
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guests they were simon clark rajiv descriptor and jeff lazarus and thank you too for your company you can see the show again any time via the website al-jazeera dot com and for further discussion go to our facebook page that's facebook dot com forward slash a.j. inside story you can also join the conversation on twitter handle is the inside story for me peter davi and the team here in doha thanks for watching we will see you very soon. i. we tout the untold stories. we speak
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when office. because of all sides. no matter where it takes us a pretty foia fear of syria got on my eyes and power. and pasha which tell your stories we are your voice your news your neck to al-jazeera. has a new daddy take advantage of the relatively clean air after weeks of toxic small stopped people from venturing outside institutions including hobgood say air pollution is leading to more severe cases of the coronavirus and more deaths from it and no way in india is the situation would stand daddy the number of kids is altered record by winter a desperate situation of the indian government set up a new commission to monitor sukses of pollution across 5 known for the state's health experts and bob mentioned this and been warning for months that the easing
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of the lockdown would lead to an increase in pollution and the impact that would have on those because of 19 this is one of the down things that no other revolutions in all of this make our planet pretty good we have to meet the c o 2 emissions targets electric cars and the mitcham in the ocean they need to be mine sure people are just talking about the solar is it that's going to solve. the world of business and commerce is driving the energy transition is the promise of clean energy an illusion the dark side of green energy. on al-jazeera. 3 year investigation into the pro-gun lobby have been implementing those meetings are going to really going to. reveal secret see what messaging out there will be people outraged you know. and connections some don't want to expose sneak in legacy media home love the mass shooting. darkness with night
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