Of course, the chart doesn’t tell the full story. First, the Pfizer and Moderna jabs were approved on Dec. 21, 2020 and Jan. 6, 2021, respectively, meaning that countries started distributing those doses before the AstraZeneca jab was even approved on Jan. 29, 2021.

There have also been delays in deliveries of AstraZeneca doses to the EU. The data in the chart don’t show when the AstraZeneca doses were received, so it’s impossible to compare how long it took member states to exhaust their supplies of each jab relative to the others. And several EU countries imposed an age cutoff for the AstraZeneca jab, which is likely slowing down distribution, as clinics struggle to find people who qualify for the jab but are under 65.

Still, it’s clear that EU countries have administered a lower share of their available AstraZeneca doses. That may be because of public health restrictions and mistrust of the jab in these countries, which has been fueled by the public statements of some politicians. It also shows the pitfalls of “vaccine preference,” a problem that is becoming global as people decide that they want one jab over another and stockpiles sit unused on the shelves.

The problems in the EU began two months ago, when German daily Handelsblatt (link in German) claimed that the AstraZeneca shot’s effectiveness was reduced to 8% among the elderly. That turned out to be false, but the EU’s slow approval of the vaccine may have lent credence to those who said it wasn’t as good as the others.

There was further damage after French president Emmanuel Macron claimed thateverything points to thinking it is quasi-ineffective on people older than 65, some say those 60 years or older.” (Last week he backtracked, telling reporters, “If that’s the vaccine that’s offered to me, I will take it, of course.” He is 43.)

The Times of London has also uncovered a disinformation campaign that it alleges originated in Russia, whereby credulous Europeans and others are being targeted with “distorted images” claiming that the AstraZeneca vaccine “could turn people into monkeys because it uses a chimpanzee virus as a vector.”

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.