EU – bungle, blunder and flounder

The omnishambles of the botched EU vaccine procurement, slow roll-out and mystifying suspension and then lifting of the AstraZeneca vaxx have led to infection rates escalating and new lockdowns in France, Italy and Poland, with Germany likely to follow suit. The UK has vaccinated over 40pc of the population and the US 34pc. The EU has managed just 12pc and daily cases are now three to four times UK levels.

  Trying to gauge the trajectory and duration of the pandemic isn’t easy from celestial markers. But the Solar Eclipses which covered the start of the outbreak in 2020 and continue into this year, with the December 2020 Eclipse casting its shadow six months ahead, all pointed to ‘traumatic transformation’; ‘restriction, inhibition etc’; ‘blocks, checks and frustrations.’ This covered effectively 18 months up to the middle of this year.  The approaching June 2021 Eclipse is in a more cheerful, creative and inspirational Saros Series; and the December 2021 Eclipse is joyful and happy.

  It would have to be said, however, that the June 2021 Solar Eclipse at 19 degrees Gemini is square Neptune, as the December 2020 one was. And this upcoming June one also has a road-blocked, trapped Mars opposition Pluto, so it won’t all be a picnic.

  There is also the tr Saturn square tr Uranus to contend with this year and for the first half of next, which can suggest dictatorial attitudes raising ire which might suggest some restrictions will stay in place. It is also associated with economic downturns and financial disruption.

  The EU was always going to be badly affected economically by the tr Uranus square tr Saturn (as indeed is the UK of which more anon). The EU chart has an 8th house Moon (= commerce and international finance) at 10 degrees Taurus square Uranus at 10 degrees Leo opposition Venus in the speculative 5th house at 15 degrees Aquarius. From last week tr Saturn has been opposition the Uranus and square the Moon, creating riding tensions, economic discouragement and a general sense of gloom. Tr Uranus then joins in from mid April to conjunct the Moon which will bring jolts, jangles and unwanted surprises. Both of these repeat off and on until this December and next February respectively.  Tr Saturn is then conjunct the EU Venus in the financial/speculative 5th in February 2022, followed by tr Uranus in square to Venus between May 2022 to March 2023. As if that wasn’t enough the 2022 Solar Eclipses in Taurus/Scorpio will rattle up the EU Moon and Uranus as well as Neptune – more financial crises and crucial decisions to be taken.  

  There will be an all-out effort to inject confidence back into finances with tr Pluto square the 2nd house EU Jupiter in 2022/23; but that may end in a giant bubble bursting as tr Pluto moves to square the Jupiter/Neptune midpoint in 2023/24 and thence onto square the EU Neptune. The Progressed Moon is also going through the EU 12th at the moment which will make for slow progress and much introspection about where-to-next until late 2022.

  This whole phase of several years will shake the EU to its foundations.

  Germany is in a state of flux this year with tr Pluto opposing the 10th house Uranus, unsure of its direction but knowing a radical change is needed. Close neighbourly relations will be under devastating confusion in early 2022 with the Solar Arc Pluto opposing the Germany 7th house Neptune. In 2022 also, the tr Saturn square tr Uranus will tug sharply at the Germany 8th house Pluto. 8th house rules joint and international finances as well as behind-the-scenes string-pulling and darker subterranean forces – and national death and rebirth, according to Campion, Baigent and Harvey. So there will be profound changes ongoing as there were last time Uranus was here in 1938.

  France equally looks more rattled between 2022 to 2024 than this year. The central Fixed Square of Uranus in Leo opposition Pluto in Aquarius square Mars Midheaven in Scorpio – will be depressed by tr Saturn hard aspects in 2022 and heavily disrupted by tr Uranus hard aspects in 2023/24; with an undermining tr Neptune opposition the Virgo Sun in 2024.

  Italy is not much higher up the cheer ladder with Neptunian markers in 2022/23/24.

  Like the EU, the UK has Fixed planets in the financial house (2nd,8th,5th) which are being rattled by tr Saturn square tr Uranus from late this month on and off through 2022. The Taurus Eclipse in 2022 especially will have a critical effect on the UK 8th house Mars. I don’t buy the present euphoria with the vaccine bounce which is causing a fair amount of gloating as if all problems have been solved. The sheer scale of money which has been plucked from the magic tree to disperse in all directions, not all of it defensible, is mind-boggling. Never mind the Brexit hit with exports considerably down.

36 thoughts on “EU – bungle, blunder and flounder

  1. My husband and I both had C-19 in November. He ended up in hospital because he couldn’t keep anything down and I stayed at home. I should point out that my husband is bed-bound due to strokes and heart failure and I as his main carer suffer from Crohns Disease.

    Although I had a fever and was extremely tired, my main problem that due to the constant coughing and wrenching my whole abdominal region became so inflamed that I could barely eat. The pain was horrendous and even extended around my back.

    This meant I couldn’t have my husband home until I was well enough to cope. I say well enough, just adjusting his pillow caused me to double over. And in a household where all the carers wear masks, gloves and aprons, it is obvious to me that such measures are patently useless.

    A few weeks later I caught it again, though this time it was very mild and only lasted a day. Now it appears that those with IBD, shouldn’t take the vaccine . Crohns Disease is of course one of those diseases. So apparently it will be my fault that the country will never be able to stop wearing masks if I don’t risk my life to have these very risky injections.

    Our son had the vaccine and he had some very nasty side effects. He told me that there was no way I should even contemplate taking it. What happened to the theory that onlyv60 % of the population needed to take it?

    • Sorry to hear that Linda, you and your family have had a really rough time. Where did you hear that people with IBD can’t take the vaccine? What does your doctor say?

      Some people do feel a bit rough after the vaccine. Early data suggests that a strong immune response (and therefore physical reaction) to the vaccine is more common in the young and those who have previously had covid. A friend of mine was unable to get out of bed, but it only lasts a day. I’m fairly certain I had covid last spring (no tests available unless you were hospitalised) but I was absolutely fine, not even a sore arm.

      I would urge you to talk to a doctor about your concerns, as a carer and as someone with an autoimmune disease you really don’t want to suffer again. This disease is worse for you than the vaccine unless there are special medical circumstances. Take care of yourself

  2. I hope so Tara! Where Neptune is involved things are bound to be a little bit mysterious. And I’m someone who, having studied astrology for quite a while, failed to notice a Neptune transit to my own chart for months! Somehow, I “forgot” to look. I laughed at myself, but it made me wary of the foggy one.

    • Haha! I’ve done that with Neptune too. I didn’t realise it was opposing my 3 of my midpoints until just now It creeps up on you..

  3. There have been so many twists in the story I have lost track of the situation. The basic problem seems to be the vaccine manufacturers have committed to deliver more supply than their manufacturing facilities can produce. AstraZeneca appear to be the main whipping boys at the moment but I think a similar problem exists with the Pfizer supply chain. Politicians trying to corner the supply chain is not helping the situation and indeed could exacerbate the problem as some of the manufacturing processes depend on cross border trades which could break down as a consequence as Pfizer have pointed out. Lots of angry words and hot air producing no tangible benefit for anyone which I suppose is what one might expect from Mars in Gemini.

    • “AstraZeneca appear to be the main whipping boys at the moment but I think a similar problem exists with the Pfizer supply chain.”

      Not even close. They had issues early on in December and January, forcing to cut early deliveries mainly in the US from 100 million to 50 million. But after that, they’ve been reliable with what been promised. The issue with Pfizer vaccine is that it requires storing in hyper cold environment, unlike AstraZeneca. That means many EU countries preferred, including Italy, prioritized it to Pfizer in their purchase orders. Unfortunately, AstraZeneca has had delivery issues they’ve still not fully resolve. Their Q2/2021 deliveries are projected to be only half of what was promised.

      This has, understandably, scared politicians and authorities in countries which relied heavily on AstraZeneca and maybe Moderna to vaccinate largest part of population, leading to the rise of hysteria around this vaccine. There is, in fact, a stunning difference how “glitches” with AstraZeneca production and safety have been met by Italian and Finnish authorities, for instance, that are not only explained by cultural difference, because Finnish authorities tend to be pessimistic. But while Italian authorities seem to be melting right now and it’s hard to believe they seriously believe in most of the adult population being vaccinate by June 25th, Finnish experts are straight out saying that even if we were not to receive a single AstraZeneca vaccine, delay to achieving this goal would be a matter of weeks, not months.

      • The population of Italy is 10 times bigger than that of Finland so the logistics of delivering vaccines to everyone is of an order of magnitude greater particularly if there are supply constraints. On a global scale the need is even greater so all the vaccine manufacturers will be needed. The attraction of the AstraZeneca vaccine to most countries is that it is far cheaper than the alternatives, being about one fifth of the price of the Pfizer alternative.

        • In addition to being cheap(as the Oxford uni – AZ contract is not for profit), AZ has also allowed multiple companies to create the vaccine(again, it is part of the deal to share the vaccine) across the world. The other companies vaccines are for profit and are manufactured primarily by their own factories.

        • @Hugh Flower, counterargument on logistics: Finland is larger than Italy, with sparsely populated North. Yet we’ve managed to get the vaccine to small health centers 300 km from the nearest Central Hospital effectively enough for these communities now hitting 30 per cent coverage (older population, many essential workers). Italy has to employ Army to distribute vaccine also because certain Health Care organizational issues that don’t allow Health authorities to organize centrally.

          Also, obviously AstraZeneca is cheaper and will be part of the solution globally (when we’ll “one jab” or even spray vaccines going, most countries will want to adapt them). However, their supply chain issues within EU have been and are a disgrace. I just read an article with a specialist saying we could be waiting for as many as 270 000 dozes of vaccine by the end of the next week, but that can’t be promised with certainty, because AstraZeneca only is able to give number a week in advance. Pfizer has had a quarterly plan, and has been reliable for the past 8 weeks.

  4. Margreit is in danger of spreading fake news. There is no proven link between the AZ vaccine and blood clots. There are anecdotal accounts of some very rare blood clots in a very small group of people who had been vaccinated, and this is being investigated. But please don’t encourage vaccine hesitancy – there is a *hugely* higher risk of getting clots from the ‘sticky blood’ which is a known effect of COVID.

    • No fake news, it was in the EU press today: an extremely rare overreaction of the immune system can cause destruction of thrombocytes. In the 25 cases that were reported in the EU the same antibodies have been found. All problems with vaccines should be investigated, that is our northern European risk-eliminating attitude.

      • Life is dangerous, Margriet. Any medical intervention carries a small risk – if you stop to eliminate risk you’d never move and we would still have polio, smallpox etc etc.

      • @Magriet, I live in a country that messed up with Pandemrix vaccine, and am thus extremely cautious with vaccine security. For instance, I always study side effect sheets. But honestly, the risks from AZ seem minor compared to what happened with Pademrix – we had 24 reported narcolepsy cases among children and teenagers in Finland alone, as well as 4 miscarriages – and the whole debacle on its’ safety mainly politically motivated.

    • I spoke with one of my doctors today about AZ and clots. The so-called rate of blood clots in an AZ-vaccinated population is much much smaller than nonvaccinated population.

      But the AZ data does appear to be applied in a non-standard manner. FWIW.

  5. It’s just crazy how different countries are handling the vaccination process. I went to a large FEMA site that was set up by the Biden administration… for my first free Moderna. No appt necessary, no lines, waited 10 minutes, got registered with minimal paperwork only medical questions, got the shot from the nurse, waited for 15 min for allergic reactions & they gave me a date & time in 28 days to get 2nd. They’re already giving vaccinations out to ppl 50+

    • @Anita, I knew Biden Admin would deliver on this, but they have been even more impressive then I thought. That said, the US has vaccine production unlike most countries in (even developed) World. And, while many EU countries have Wartime/Crisis Production Acts akin to that invoked by Biden to bolster production, there isn’t one EU wide. Therefore, companies based in the EU have been able to export the vaccine to highest bidder before providing it to “our own” (before a recent intervention), while the US has kept domestic production.

      Anyhow, it’s definitely in our interest that the US does well here. EU has purchased 300 million Moderna vaccines (as many as AstraZeneca) that will be delivered once Americans have been mostly vaccinated. Not to mention the rest of the World, I think we need to start thinking about how to vaccinate Africa and parts of South America and Asia soon, because the pandemic is currently rampant especially in Africa.

      • Highest bidder comment may partly be true, especially in Pfizer’s case.

        The manufacturing of vaccines (both AZ and Pfizer) have been setup as it is currently, based on logistical reasons, with the hope that both UK and EU will not prevent companies from exporting to each other.
        AZ vaccine itself is a UK taxpayer funder research output – licensed to be sold at cost (the only one that is non-profit) to AZ. Pfizer research was funded by German tax payer. AZ factory in Netherlands was setup with UK’s help(not just AZ. Kate Bingham, was involved, and thereby the UK gov indirectly. And word is that resources were diverted to NL factory as it was critical, when the UK factory could have used some of the people and resources sent to fix NL factory issue. not sure though) to be nearer some of the supply chain and end users. AZ production in UK receives some raw materials from EU and Pfizer’s critical raw materials are supplied from the UK. UK-Pfizer contract was setup with the clear agreement that it will be manufactured in EU and supplied to UK, again taking the overall logistics to account.

        So, in my opinion, it is incorrect to say UK has not sent anything to EU, but EU has sent a lot to UK.

        All the fuss is about the politicians in the UK trying to look good by posturing about vaccine success(after doing badly on the initial handling of the virus), and EU politicians covering up their inept actions. It is neither in UK’s or EU’s interest (or in the interest of the rest of the world, but that aside) for the EU to block exports or UK to block something in the future. I am hoping some sense will prevail on both sides and we put an end to this by Thursday.

        I expect posturing on both sides for the next few days, and UK and EU will end up sharing the NL factory output. Johnson can claim victory as he prevented export block, and EU leaders can claim victory that they got AZ vaccines.

        With the way the vaccine logistics was handled in the UK, I was expecting that expertise and resources could be shared with the EU countries. With the way things are, it may become politically untenable for UK to provide or EU to accept. Unfortunate.

  6. Slightly away from EU, was reading on the total collapse in Brazil. Not on my list of vacation choices. One of the African nations’ leaders insists that covid can be “prayed away”. The GOP-controlled US southern states have come uncorked, esp with DeSantis in Florida proclaiming he is the resurrection of Trump for 2024, and no-mask lifestyle just-in-time for spring break. Trump is busy rewriting history now with “get the vaccine!” now that it’s proven covid won’t just “go away.”

    It’s a mess most places where one looks.

    • @larryc, the “praying away” leader was Tanzanian President John Magufuli, who died possibly of Covid-19 complications this week. Also, for some reason, I guess mostly by how foreign relations and especially foreign aid work, I seem to have quite a few contacts with people who’ve lived in Tanzania, and this isn’t even the wildest thing I’ve heard happening there.

      • It’s interesting how different the EU countries are reacting. The politics and differences are getting wider and it seems like this is the beginning of something. It’s human nature to look after your own. There seems to be apathy and lots of politics around the vaccines which won’t impress any voter as surely you’d take the blood clot risk rather than than risk covid. I’m due the second Pfizer and had no side effects if it helps anyone.
        Another brilliant post Marjorie- love reading them.

  7. 40% of the UK population has only received their first shot, without the government making reservations for the millions of second jabs necessary. And research has shown that there is a very rare, but proven link between AStra Zeneca’s vaccine and blood cloths. In a way the UK government is playing with people’s lives in order to be able to brag about constructed successes. The EU countries are struggling mainly because of AZ only supplying 30% of the amount of doses of their contractual obligations. Other vaccines are on their way (Jansen: one shot and better protection than AZ), so let us wait until the end of the epidemic and start evaluating what could have been donebetter (and not who won!)

    • The AZ is definitely a concern. Do you know if reported deaths about Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are also investigated? I watched the EMA press conference, and when a reporter asked about Pfizer, they did not provide any useful information.
      Even after knowing the risk, EMA has not withdrawn authorization on AZ vaccine, which means, they consider it a tiny risk when compared against the Covid risk. My worry is – EMA will withdraw authorization on AZ once it’s supply of other vaccines increases. That will have a huge impact on the vaccinations throughout the world – as the world will loose trust in the vaccine. AZ vaccine is the best logistically and price wise for the poorer countries(AZ is not making profit from the vaccines as of now – which was a condition of the contract UK/Oxford entered with AZ)

      “In a way the UK government is playing with people’s lives in order to be able to brag about constructed successes”

      I wouldn’t be so sure that everything was done for bragging rights. UK was impacted more during the pandemic in terms of lives lost and economy. So, UK government had no choice but to act fast. UK bet on a number of vaccines very early in the pandemic. And I am sure they wouldn’t have thought of bragging at that stage. And invested in Oxford research even before the extent of the pandemic on UK was known. On its own, UK government could take decisions quicker. EU had to build consensus causing the delay(I am not saying this as a criticism). The vaccine spend of the EU is almost the same as UK’s, even though EU has 6-7 times more population.

      “without the government making reservations for the millions of second jabs necessary”

      That is definitely a concern. Plans were made based on the production capabilities(both home and abroad) and contracts I understand. If there are delays – either because of production issues or countries(including EU) block supply to UK, it will be a problem. I hope there has been at least some contingency. As you know, the next month is going to be fully focussed on 2nd doses rather than first ones for under 50s. In any case, in my personal opinion(I am no medical expert), getting atleast some immunity given by one dose for the older age group that has been vaccinated is better than not having any. I see lot of older people out and about in the public spaces. Market stalls operated by older people have come back. Quite happy with that. The third wave, no doubt, will hit the British shores. With the vaccinations, I am hoping it will be less severe.

    • I haven’t seen anything to suggest that the number of blood clots aren’t what you’d normally expect in the general population. It’s just that these people happened to have the vaccine. Is it not more damaging to let the variant run rampant, which IS proven to kill people?

      I don’t think the government can take the full credit to be honest, from what I’ve seen it’s the people on the ground – the NHS and huge amounts of volunteers making it work. Getting the vaccine stocks is one thing, the rest of the logistics are staggering and I think again they got lucky

      • I understand that government is using the army for logistics.
        I think the credit to the government for handling this task well. (They may botch it any time). Of course, the volunteers and people involved have to be applauded.

        Compare this with test and trace, when it was told volunteers were often sitting idle. Government was blamed for not handling it right. Rightly so.

  8. I understand everybody is frustrated by the thus far slow vaccine roll-out in the EU, but seriously, the difference between the US and the UK and the EU will shrink in the next month or so, with Pfizer’s reliable production being funneled to EU. Therefore, and I’m not certain these “lost weeks” will be enough to make much difference economically. Politically, without a shadow of doubt, careers will be ruined.

    That said, living in a country that has managed to keep the society relatively open this far, I have a word of warning about Covid-19 variants. British variant in particular seems to be exponentially more contagious than the previous variants among children and young people. And while they themselves are still often asymptomatic, they seem to be much more contagious themselves. We’ve kept children under 12 in class rooms even in few areas with more widespread epidemic, and Turku on Western Coast never closed junior sports either, yet didn’t experience a disastrous surge many countries had in September-October, and late November surge was easily contained. All that has changed in the past 4-6 weeks, with British variant becoming prevalent. I have a 7-year-old, and this weekend has been panicky at parent groups, because it seems that while tracking can’t keep up with contagion chains, there are currently several at every Primary School of Central Helsinki. Daughter’s school just moved upper classes to distant learning.

    This is bad news also for countries where vaccine roll-out has been efficient: This far, children aren’t vaccinated, and when they will continue fueling epidemics and possibly cause new variants current vaccines aren’t as efficient with.

    Unfortunately, it seems more and more likely they Covid-19 is bere to stay, becoming a seasonal blight much like forms of influenza. Likely most future outbreaks are weaker, but anyhow, it’s a question of learning to live with this.

    • I was extraordinarily lucky to get a vaxx rendezvous right at the start with a second four weeks later – Moderna. Not sure how I managed it since all I did was go to the health website recommended and there were instant appointments. But the process on the day was, as per usual, bogged down in French bureaucracy – the poor doctor spent a good ten minutes on his laptop filling in forms before I was shunted into the nurse who had the syringe. They are speeding up from 50 a day to 100, I gather, at centres now. But they wouldn’t get through the millions needed on that schedule. The French and paperwork is a real blight.

      • @Marjorie, I can only imagine! In Finland, we have bots sending SMS to people whose turn it’s to get the vaccine, with detail. In Helsinki, they are now vaccinating people between ages 70 and 75. In Turku, they are slightly behind, but father-in-law got the first Pfizer shot on Thursday and by this rate, mother-in-law should be up next week. FIL has a time for second dose in 3 months – we decided to adapt longer wait period between two shots. My father and stepmother just turned 70, but live in a small town where they’ve had a total of 5 cases through epidemic, 3 of which were brought in early on from a sporting event. There are many places like this, really.

        We are also lucky, in a way, in that our authorities didn’t bet on one horse within EU purchase scheme, likely due to having invested heavily on GlaxoSmithKline’s Pandemrix for H1N1 and the subsequential narcholepsy cases (I had what was very likely swine flu just a couple of weeks before they started vaccinations, so never took it). So, even with AstroZeneca’s difficulties, we should have all of our adult population vaccinated by late June. So, for us, it’s more about how bad the situation stays before that and for how long. We’ve had peak recorded numbers (although in March-April 2020 people could not get tested, and there were slightly more covid-19 related hospitalizations, so I’d gather Capital Area was worse off) for a couple of weeks now, and considering curfew for the first time.

      • Wow that is a big difference. I was (to my surprise) invited to be vaccinated a few weeks ago (lets just say I’m older than the Kardashians but younger than the Spice Girls 😉 ) I had the Oxford one. It was just around the corner to me in a leisure complex and I actually knew the girl that vaccinated me, we laughed about how surreal it was. She is ex-cabin crew and volunteers there 4 days a week as she is retraining to go into a health profession. She told me that they vaccinated just over 850 people the day before – I guess cabin crew are pretty good at shifting people though 😉 But yes, a big difference. I think you’re right, streamlined paperwork and a huge army of volunteers make a difference. I was asked some questions before I went in, mostly if I had any allergies and stuff like that, there were rows and rows of these people asking the questions, so the small queue was constantly moving.

        I’m a bit concerned at the moment as I think my father (76) must be due his second soon but he says he hasn’t heard anything. I was asked to book my second appointment when I made my first, so I’m wondering if he missed something. It’s on my long list of things to sort out…

        • Hi Tara – it seems that if your appointment was through a GP people don’t have a date for the second one. If you booked through the NHS website, they invite you to book your second one at the same time. Here in my London street we have had NHS appointment first jabs for people in their 30’s this week! A lot of people I know were invited early, outside the “groups” they talk about in the media. And judging by stories of people being rung up at the last minute, I suspect the take up of vaccinations may not be as high as it could be. Which is concerning. As Marjorie points out, the Gemini June eclipse is square Neptune….., which does suggest some potential for scandal or confusion with both virus and vaccine.

          • Ah I see, thanks Jane. Yes I did book through the website. That’s amazing that people in their 30’s are being vaccinated now, although there are less elderly in London, still over 9 million people there. I think there are all sorts of reasons people from outside the expected groups are being called in, all sorts of databases used. The algorithms and segmentation won’t be 100% perfect but it will catch most.

      • “ The French and paperwork is a real blight” made me laugh now that those experiences are in the rear-view mirror. I was warned shortly after arriving for my new apt and job that you would have to do everything at least twice ( in person, no internet those days) because they will always find some paperwork you are missing – including inventing new ones. After 4 yrs of carte de sejour renewals, I thought I surely had the process down pat; yet the top Paris boss managed to identify one missing document: a “certificate of non-citizenship”. I had to hold my tongue from replying, if I were a citizen, would I make myself go thru this yearly ? instead I dutifully went to my local office, where the staff was just as puzzled until they realized where the request came from, and sighed : ‘ever since that woman took over, she’s been giving us more paperwork’. They wrote up a piece of paper to serve as document so I could wait in line again – but I finally got my renewal!

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