The European Union’s Covid-19 vaccination rollout had looked like a cross
between a bad joke and a bad dream. Almost everything that could go wrong did: Logistical failures, supply delays, the odd diplomatic incident and an ugly bust-up with AstraZeneca Plc. The euro-area economy, battered by successive virus waves, fell
into a double-dip recession earlier this year.
Yet the bloc has really turned a corner in recent days. A concerted effort to get needles into people’s arms, helped by an expanded supply of doses and the pressure to escape society-crushing lockdowns, is paying off. The EU daily average rate of jabs is currently around 7 doses per 1,000 people, fully closing the gap with the U.S. and U.K. this week. Germany recently broke records with 1.1 million jabs in one day, while France is about halfway there. There are already signs suggesting a newfound optimism is feeding
through to the economy.