Brussels, by comparison, took a conservative, budget-conscious approach that left the open market largely untouched. And it has paid for it.
In short, the answer today is the same as it was in December, Slaoui said. The bloc shopped for vaccines like a customer. The United States basically went into business with the drugmakers, spending much more heavily to accelerate vaccine development, testing and production.
I know when Disney buys computer time (e.g., for their streaming TV channels), they get very deep into the guts to know the risk.
In Washington, Operation Warp Speed, the Trump administration’s vaccine program, had a $10 billion budget. European officials say it’s unfair to compare the two figures because neither amount is a complete picture of all the money spent on vaccines. But there is no dispute that in Washington, officials had decided that money was no object if vaccines could avert the economic cost of a lockdown. Europe, on the other hand, was on a tight budget, so its negotiators chased cheaper doses.
“Pricing has been important since the beginning,” Sandra Gallina, the EU’s main vaccine negotiator, told lawmakers in February. “We are talking about taxpayers’ money.”
In effect, the US and UK were criticized for over spending and over-buying. Both built up capacity. The UK just did much of that capacity in the EU also. They are now being locked out of that capacity; I'm betting they do not make that mistake again.
The US made vaccines a priority as the huge costs of lockdowns was part of the equation (look at the Trillions spent on rescue packages, so $10 billion on vaccines is chump change).
Basically aligns with other reporting on issue: the EU approached vaccine procurement like trade negotiations (their specialty) vs. a comprehensive production and supply effort. They secured a heck of trade deal, but a flop as far as procurement and production. Hopefully they get it sorted.