Coronavirus: Commission unveils EU vaccines strategy

_Kyriakides_

Ms. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission and Ms. Stella Kyriakides, EU Commissioner responsible for Health (Co-operators: Photographer: Etienne Ansotte European Union, 2020 Source: EC – Audiovisual Service)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


Today, to help protect people everywhere, the European Commission is presenting a European strategy to accelerate the development, manufacturing and deployment of vaccines against COVID-19. An effective and safe vaccine against the virus is our best bet to achieve a permanent solution to the pandemic. Time is of the essence. Every month gained in finding such a vaccine saves lives, livelihoods and billions of euros. Today’s strategy proposes a joint EU approach and builds on the mandate received from EU health ministers.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “This is a moment for science and solidarity. Nothing is certain, but I am confident that we can mobilise the resources to find a vaccine to beat this virus once and for all. We must be ready to manufacture and deploy such a vaccine across Europe and the world. This vaccine will be a breakthrough in the fight against the coronavirus, and a testament to what partners can achieve when we put our minds, research and resources together. The European Union will do all in its power to ensure that all peoples of this world have access to a vaccine, irrespective of where they live.”

Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides said: “Working together will increase our chances of securing access to a safe and effective vaccine at the scale we need and as quickly as possible. It will ensure fair and equitable access for all across the EU and globally, thus offering the best opportunity of finding a permanent exit strategy from the COVID-19 crisis. This is the EU at its best: pooling resources, joining efforts, bringing tangible results to the everyday lives of people. No one is safe until everyone is safe and we will leave no stones unturned in our efforts to protect EU and global citizens.”

Vaccine development is a complex and lengthy process. With today’s strategy, the Commission will support efforts to accelerate the development and availability of safe and effective vaccines in a timeframe between 12 and 18 months, if not earlier. Delivering on this complex undertaking requires running clinical trials in parallel with investing in production capacity to be able to produce millions, or even billions, of doses of a successful vaccine. The Commission is fully mobilised to support the efforts of vaccine developers in their endeavour.

This is not a European challenge, but a global one. The European Union will not be safe until the entire world has access to a vaccine, and as such, the EU and its Member States have both a responsibility and an interest to make a vaccine universally available.

An important step towards joint action between Member States has already been taken in the formation of an inclusive vaccine Alliance by France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. The EU Vaccine Strategy will implement a joint approach going forward.

The strategy has the following objectives:

  • Ensuring the quality, safety and efficacy of vaccines.
  • Securing swift access to vaccines for Member States and their populations while leading the global solidarity effort.
  • Ensuring equitable access to an affordable vaccine as early as possible.

The EU strategy rests on two pillars:

  • Securing the production of vaccines in the EU and sufficient supplies for its Member States through Advance Purchase Agreements with vaccine producers via the Emergency Support Instrument. Additional financing and other forms of support can be made available on top of such agreements.
  • Adapting the EU’s regulatory framework to the current urgency and making use of existing regulatory flexibility to accelerate the development, authorisation and availability of vaccines while maintaining the standards for vaccine quality, safety and efficacy.

Advance Purchase Agreements

In order to support companies in the swift development and production of a vaccine, the Commission will enter into agreements with individual vaccine producers on behalf of the Member States. In return for the right to buy a specified number of vaccine doses in a given timeframe, the Commission will finance part of the upfront costs faced by vaccines producers. This will take the form of Advance Purchase Agreements. Funding provided will be considered as a down-payment on the vaccines that will actually be purchased by Member States.

The related funding will come from a significant part of the €2.7 billion Emergency Support Instrument. Additional support will be available through loans from the European Investment Bank.

Financing criteria

When taking the financing decision on what vaccines to support, the following non-exhaustive criteria will be taken into account, including: soundness of scientific approach and technology used, speed of delivery at scale, cost, risk sharing, liability, coverage of different technologies, early engagement with EU regulators, global solidarity, and capacity to supply through development of production capacity within the EU.

There is always a risk that supported candidates fail during clinical trials. This Strategy is therefore similar to an insurance policy, by transferring some of the risks from industry to public authorities in return for assuring Member States of equitable and affordable access to a vaccine, should one become available.

A flexible and robust regulatory process

Regulatory processes will be flexible but remain robust. Together with the Member States and the European Medicines Agency, the Commission will make the greatest use of existing flexibilities in the EU’s regulatory framework to accelerate the authorisation and availability of successful vaccines against COVID-19. This includes an accelerated procedure for authorisation, flexibility in relation to labelling and packaging, and a proposal to provide temporary derogations from certain provisions of the GMO legislation to speed up clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines and medicines containing genetically modified organisms.

Companies with a promising vaccine candidate, already in or close to starting clinical trials, are invited to contact the Commission at EC-VACCINES@ec.europa.eu.

Global solidarity

The EU is contributing to the global effort for universal testing, treatment and vaccination by mobilising resources through international pledging and by joining forces with countries and global health organisations through the Access To Covid-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator collaborative framework. The Global Coronavirus Response pledging campaign raised €9.8 billion by the end of May 2020. A second step is underway in partnership with Global Citizen and other governmental and non-governmental partners, culminating in a global pledging summit on 27 June.

The European Commission is committed to the principle of universal, equitable and affordable access to vaccines, especially for the most vulnerable countries. It is ready to explore with international partners if a significant number of countries would agree to pool resources for jointly reserving future vaccines from companies for themselves as well as for low and middle-income countries at the same time. The high-income countries could act as an inclusive international buyers’ group, thus accelerating the development of safe and effective vaccines and maximise access to them for all who need it across the world.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

UN chief welcomes South Sudan’s Unity government, lauds parties for ‘significant achievement’

‘Step backwards’ for Bosnia’s autonomous Serb region as assembly reneges on Srebrenica genocide report

One in three children do not get the nutrition they need

Rare earths are the new battlefront in the US-China trade war. But what are they?

Practicing healthcare: Skills of a good healthcare professional and its effects

Plastic waste from Western countries is poisoning Indonesia

Why do medical students have to emigrate to become doctors in 2017?

This is what the UK’s major supermarkets say about plastic packaging and the environment

Mind control using sound waves? We ask a scientist how it works

Bringing justice to the people: how the UN is helping communities deal with disputes in remote and dangerous areas

Public climate finance to developing countries is rising

5 factors driving the Chinese lawtech boom

This is why retail is such a sore point in India-US trade relations

Mental Health: starting with myself

The smartest cyber investment is collective action. Here’s why

UN chief calls for ‘united front’ against anti-Semitism after US synagogue mass-shooting

We need a new Operating System for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

China is winning the electric vehicle race

Next six months crucial for the EU, says von der Leyen at the start of the German Presidency of the Council of the EU

These clothes were designed by artificial intelligence

Four in 10 indigenous languages at risk of disappearing, warn UN human rights experts

UN Security Council welcomes results of Mali’s presidential elections

How our global battle against coronavirus could help us fight climate change

What does reimagining our energy system look like?

This Dutch company has devised an innovative way to deal with food waste

The EU Parliament slams Commission on economic governance

How Eurozone consumers spend their income when they have one…

Military escalation will have ‘serious consequences’ for Yemeni civilians, warns UN Special Envoy

Upgraded EU visa information database to increase security at external borders

Mexico: UN chief saddened by pipeline blast in which dozens were killed

Why nature is the most important stakeholder of the coming decade

Renewable energy could power the world by 2050. Here’s what that future might look like

Murder of Brazilian indigenous leader a ‘worrying symptom’ of land invasion

What does strategy have to do with a platform approach?

As fighting in Libya escalates, so does number of children ‘at imminent risk of injury or death’

COVID19 Pandemic: The Mental Health of Colored Chicks

Draghi’s 2018 compromise: enough money printing to revive inflation and check euro ascent

Coronavirus: Commission receives first preliminary application for support from the EU Solidarity Fund for health emergency from Italy

Why South Africa is on a path of economic renewal

Multilateralism: The only path to address the world’s troubles, signals Guterres

Is Germany’s political landscape becoming a breeding ground for extremism?

‘Deteriorating’ human rights in Belarus amounts to ‘wholescale oppression’: UN expert

New Eurobarometer Survey: Protecting the environment and climate is important for over 90% of European citizens

New Zealand Prime Minister opens door to 4-day working week

Health without borders: How we can Improve International Collaboration in Health Care

The two big uncertainties shaping our future

I cycled over 6,000km across the United States to document climate change. Here’s what I learned

Mental health in times of a pandemic: what can each individual do to lessen the burden?

Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate deal is bad for US business. Here’s why.

More than just a phone: mobile’s impact on sustainable development

Paris agreed with Berlin over a loose and ineffective banking union

‘Everyone needs to do more’ to help suffering Venezuelans, says UN Emergency Relief Coordinator

‘From farm to plate’, first-ever World Food Safety Day demonstrates the need to take unsafe food off the menu

Brain Drain remains a crucial and unresolved issue

From Grexit to Brexit: UK industry now says the in/out referendum is good for your health

COP21 Paris: The Final Agreement Adopted-full text

Refugee crisis update: EU seeks now close cooperation with Africa while Schulz is shocked to witness live one single wreck full of immigrants

These 10 countries are the best at respecting children’s rights

International tourism is set to plunge by 80% this year – but some regions could recover more quickly

Ebola Outbreak in Democratic Republic Congo is ‘largely contained’: WHO

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s