The EU is to launch its jab-creation strategy in response to the Covid crisis as early as 2026, officials have told Berlaymonster.
The tight timeframe underlines the urgency of the situation, one official said, speaking under condition of anonymity because it’s all just a bit embarrassing.
The initiative, tentatively titled “Smart, Sustainable Shots: Towards A Forward-Looking, Stakeholder-Driven and Integrated Rebalancing Away from Covid”, is a bid to encourage take-up of life-saving vaccines.
Despite the virus leaving Europe looking as ravaged as Place Luxembourg on a Friday morning, surveys show many Europeans remain sceptical about the benefits of inoculation, reasoning that anything developed by Bill Gates is probably going to be a bit shit.
That reluctance has meant EU health authorities have so far mustered fewer pricks than József Szájer’s birthday party.
The new strategy will feature many of Brussels larger-than-life personalities as well as Valdis Dombrovskis cheerfully receiving a series of injections while reading woodenly off an autocue, exclusive documents seen by this blog reveal.
The document has been dogged by holdups within the European Commission.
At a series of tense five-hour internal meetings, eurocrats battled over whether the new proposals should take the form of a 63-pronged Action Plan, or a much more controversial High Level Strategic Agenda. A cross-department working group has now been set up to settle this vexed question by Q4 2022 at the absolute latest.
Senior EU officials have however unanimously agreed a schedule for who should get priority receipt of the jab, based on criteria such as: importance to the EU economy, ability to choose among flying shapes in multiple-choice tests, and mastery of internal European Commission procedures.
The resultant “seniors first” policy will see commission staff of AD14 and above receive the first tranche of lifesaving jabs, followed by lowlier Policy Officers, before the focus turns to “ordinary European citizens,” whoever they might be, leaked documents reveal.
The new EU strategy is also likely to borrow ideas from Paris, where Emmanuel Macron’s government is attempting to deal with widespread vaccine hesitancy by setting up a Citizens’ Assembly, examining goat entrails, and hiring whichever marketing whizz persuaded people to eat andouillette.
Hopes had also been high that the vaccine developed by Oxford University will soon be complemented by one from the EU’s own Gravy Training College. But trials of the so-called Bruges Vaccine have proved disappointing, with early evidence suggesting that boring on about comitology in seven languages has only a limited effect on viral transmission.
Trouble still lies ahead for the controversial plans which are likely to meet with opposition from Brussels’ own yawningly self-important institutions. Lawmakers in the European Parliament have battled for buck-toothed euro-warbler Guy Verhofstadt to front up any campaign, while the Committee of the Regions is an institution established by Article 305 of the EU Treaty that nobody, literally nobody, gives a tinker’s cuss about.
A Commission spokesperson confirmed there would be a consultation in the coming years, with a hashtag set to be agreed as early as 2024.
“People who are vaccinated while visiting another EU country will also not pay any roaming charges,” the spokesperson said, his voice cracking with pride through a thick French accent.
“Did I mention we abolished roaming charges? Because we did,” the spokesperson added.