EU member states have pledged not to launch their own procedures for procuring coronavirus vaccines, Stella Kiriakidis, commissioner for health and food safety, said after an informal video conference of EU health ministers on Wednesday.
Photo: MTI / Márton Mónus
Stella Kiriakidis recalled at her online press conference: In June 2020, all twenty-seven member states authorized the European Commission to negotiate pre-orders for vaccinations on their behalf.
He pointed out that the European Commission has so far identified AstraZeneca (400 million doses), Sanofi-GSK (300 million doses), Johnson and Johnson (400 million doses), BioNTech-Pfizer (600 million doses), signed vaccine supply contracts with CureVac (405 million doses) and Moderna (160 million doses). It also closed discussions with pharmaceutical companies Novavax (100 million doses) and Valneva (30 million doses) on the procurement of their possible coronavirus vaccine. Europe has access to up to 2.5 billion doses of effective and safe vaccines, he said.
“Let me remind you that, by approving the agreement and transferring the negotiations to the Union, you all agreed not to launch your own procedure for purchasing vaccines from the same laboratories.”
The provision is legally binding on all Member States and was published in the annex to the Union Gazette on 18 June, he added.
He also said he understood the pressure at national level and the concerns of citizens, but that individual agreements would undermine a common European approach to vaccine supply, which had so far been successful.
The EU Commissioner called on Member States to publish their population vaccination data at least twice a week on the vaccination monitoring platform of the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). He also urged member states to acquire all the necessary means to implement the vaccination strategy smoothly.
“What saved lives is not the vaccine, but the vaccine”
– highlighted the Commissioner in Brussels.
Kiriakidis also announced that the US pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson is expected to submit an application for approval of its self-developed vaccine in the EU to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in February.
Portuguese Health Minister Marta Temido, who holds the rotating presidency of the EU Council, said at an online press conference that the emergence of coronavirus mutations is a cause for concern among member states. Governments must therefore coordinate their control of the epidemic and accelerate the vaccination of the population to avoid another wave of epidemics.
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