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We envy Britain! Germany's biggest newspaper Bild praises UK's incredible vaccine success and contrasts Boris Johnson's optimistic lockdown exit plans with Merkel's doom and gloom


  • Bild article praised the UK's 'successful' jab drive for enabling end to lockdown
  • Meanwhile Germany is 'stuck in lockdown' with Merkel warning of a 'third wave'
  • It marks a turnaround from previous praise for Merkel and criticism of Johnson 

Germany's biggest-selling newspaper has praised Britain's vaccine success and Boris Johnson's plans to lift the lockdown, with a front-page headline saying: 'Dear Brits, we envy you!'.  

The article in Bild said the UK's 'successful' vaccine programme had allowed the PM to promise a brighter future while Germany is 'stuck in lockdown' and Angela Merkel's government is languishing behind in handing out vaccine doses.  

The German gloom marks a stark turnaround from earlier months of the pandemic when Merkel was widely praised for her handling of the crisis, Johnson heavily criticised and Germany kept its death toll significantly below Britain's. 

Now, Merkel is warning of a looming 'third wave' as Covid-19 infections start to increase again with only four per cent of the public vaccinated - while Britons are already counting down the days to freedom on June 21.  


 

Bild's front-page headline has the words 'we envy you', partly in English, superimposed over the Union Jack - with a caption saying that 'the English have announced their return to normality on June 21... and here there's no hope'. 

The article describes Britons as 'just plain happy', adding that they had 'reacted with overwhelming euphoria' to the PM's announcement on Monday.   

'It means: Normal life is coming back! FREEDOM!,' the article published in Wednesday's paper says. 

'That's made possible by the successful vaccination campaign,' it says, noting that more than 17.7million people have received a jab in the UK compared to 3.4million in larger Germany. 

The article goes on: 'While the Brits are already planning their summer holidays, Germany is stuck in lockdown. 

'That's because chancellor Angela Merkel, who as recently as Monday was holding out the prospect of loosening lockdown, sounded the alarm again yesterday.'

Merkel told party colleagues on Tuesday that 'we are now in the third wave', warning that any easing of lockdown after March 7 could only take place gradually. 

The chancellor, a trained scientist, has long been cautious about a hasty exit from lockdown - and Germany's jab programme is not moving fast enough to protect a large share of the population at this stage. 

Britain is far outpacing Germany and other EU countries in handing out vaccines to guard against a resurgence of Covid-19

A second Bild article describes Johnson's plans as a 'Corona-Brexit', and asks: 'When will we catch up to the Brits?'. 

'The deficit is growing: at the moment the Brits are vaccinating nearly three times as many people per day,' it says. 

'Herd immunity on the island [meaning Britain] certainly appears in sight. And that's why the Brits want to open up.' 

While Merkel has come under fire for letting Brussels take the lead in the vaccine race, the EU's supply problems have been made worse by many Germans' reluctance to take the AstraZeneca vaccine after European leaders voiced doubts about the jab.

Germany was among the countries which refused to let over-65s take the jab because of limited trial data, in contrast to Britain where real-world data this week showed the jab cutting hospitalisations in Scotland by 94 per cent. 

Emmanuel Macron added fuel to the fire in France by casting doubt on the jab's effectiveness and claiming that Britain had taken a risk by approving it so quickly.

Merkel's office is now pleading with Germans to take the AstraZeneca shot after only 187,000 of the jabs were administered out of the first 1.5million delivered.   

'The vaccine from AstraZeneca is both safe and highly effective,' Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert said on Monday. 'The vaccine can save lives.'

EU chief Ursula von on der Leyen has now joined in that effort, saying that she herself would take the vaccine despite her earlier feud with the company. 

'I would take the AstraZeneca vaccine without a second thought, just like Moderna's and BioNTech/Pfizer's products,' von der Leyen told the Augsburger Allgemeine. 

The EU's AstraZeneca problems are set to continue into the spring, with as many as 90million doses expected to be missing from shipments in the second quarter of 2021.

An EU official involved in talks with the firm says the company has warned that it may deliver only half of its promised 180million doses from April to June.   

It comes after Brussels reacted with fury last month when AstraZeneca said it would cut deliveries to the bloc because of delays at a Belgian factory. 

After AstraZeneca warned of shortfalls but continued to supply Britain in full, the EU published its contract with the firm and claimed to have cast-iron commitments. 

Brussels also imposed export controls on jab shipments leaving the bloc, but was forced into retreat after initially saying they would apply to Northern Ireland. 

But AstraZeneca's CEO blamed the delays on the fact that the EU had not signed a contract until three months after Britain had tied up a deal last year.

AstraZeneca is not exporting vaccines made in the UK, in line with its separate contract with the British government.

But AstraZeneca has told the EU it could provide more doses from its global supply chain, including from India and the United States, an EU official said last week. 

The roadmap out of lockdown: Boris Johnson's plans would allow for all restrictions to be lifted by June and significant freedoms to return before then

Also under fire is Merkel's health minister Jens Spahn, who has been criticised over the vaccine fiasco and suffered further humiliation this week when his plan to roll out rapid testing from March 1 was torpedoed by Merkel's office. 

The rapid-testing plan will now merely be discussed at talks between Merkel and state premiers on March 3, the chancellor's spokesman said. 

As recently as last week, Spahn had promised that the publicly-funded tests would be available from March 1 in pharmacies and local testing centres. 

'These testing options can contribute to a safe everyday life, especially in schools and daycare centres,' Spahn had said. 

The government's popularity has also been hit by the prolonged lockdown which has turned Germany's success of last spring into a much bleaker picture this winter.

Also under fire is Merkel's health minister Jens Spahn, who has been criticised over the vaccine fiasco and suffered further humiliation this week when his plan to roll out rapid testing from March 1 was torpedoed by Merkel's office. 

The rapid-testing plan will now merely be discussed at talks between Merkel and state premiers on March 3, the chancellor's spokesman said. 

As recently as last week, Spahn had promised that the publicly-funded tests would be available from March 1 in pharmacies and local testing centres. 

'These testing options can contribute to a safe everyday life, especially in schools and daycare centres,' Spahn had said. 

The government's popularity has also been hit by the prolonged lockdown which has turned Germany's success of last spring into a much bleaker picture this winter.

Also under fire is Merkel's health minister Jens Spahn, who has been criticised over the vaccine fiasco and suffered further humiliation this week when his plan to roll out rapid testing from March 1 was torpedoed by Merkel's office. 

The rapid-testing plan will now merely be discussed at talks between Merkel and state premiers on March 3, the chancellor's spokesman said. 

As recently as last week, Spahn had promised that the publicly-funded tests would be available from March 1 in pharmacies and local testing centres. 

'These testing options can contribute to a safe everyday life, especially in schools and daycare centres,' Spahn had said. 

The government's popularity has also been hit by the prolonged lockdown which has turned Germany's success of last spring into a much bleaker picture this winter.

German soldiers prepare AstraZeneca vaccines at a former Berlin airport earlier this month, amid widespread reluctance to take the jab despite its proven effectiveness

After seeing fewer than 10,000 deaths during the first wave, Germany's death toll is now above 68,000 and a weeks-long decline in cases has now come to a halt.  

The last seven days have seen 52,419 new cases, up from 50,403 the week before, and the closely-watched R rate has been as high as 1.25. 

The stagnation means that the infection rate per 100,000 people, currently 59.3, is hovering agonisingly above the level of 50 identified as a benchmark for re-opening.

Germany's success in the first wave means its total death rate is still well below Britain's, with 68,740 deaths compared to the UK's 121,305. 

EU is set to receive 90 MILLION fewer AstraZeneca jabs than expected in latest blow to their vaccine drive – as Ursula von der Leyen admits she would take the jab despite Europe’s scaremongering

Europe's vaccine chaos is set to continue into the spring with as many as 90million doses missing from AstraZeneca shipments in the second quarter of 2021. 

An EU official involved in talks with the firm says AstraZeneca has warned that it may deliver only half of its promised 180million doses from April to June.   

It comes after Brussels reacted with fury last month when AstraZeneca said it would cut deliveries to the bloc because of delays at a Belgian factory.

The new shortage could hamper the EU's ability to meet its target of vaccinating 70 per cent of adults by summer - with Britain promising to offer one dose to 100 per cent by July 31.  

EU leaders have also made matters worse by raising doubts about the AstraZeneca jab despite its proven effectiveness - with Germany now pleading with its citizens to take the jab after the scaremongering led to low uptake.  

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen, 62, has also sought to quell doubts by saying that she herself would take the AstraZeneca jab. 

 

Read More: Daily Mail

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