COVID-19 vaccines: Parliament supports speedy authorisation of safe vaccines

(Credit: Unsplash)

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


An EU strategy for COVID-19 vaccinations, that addresses challenges inside and outside the EU, was debated on Wednesday with Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas.

Vice-President Schinas presented the Commission’s COVID-19 strategy, which is based on the principles of equal access, affordability and safety. He referred to the statement in Plenary earlier today by the President of the Commission Ursula von der Leyen, who said that the Commission is ready to formally authorise the first vaccine on 23 December, if the European Medicines Agency (EMA) gives the green light to the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine earlier on 21 December, as announced yesterday. This approach will allow all 27 EU member states to start vaccinating at the same time.

Many MEPs applauded the EU approach to COVID-19 vaccines and underlined that while authorisation should be given as fast as possible, safety is of utmost importance to create trust in the vaccines. A very thorough and independent authorisation process, like the one being used in the EU, is therefore essential. In this context, MEPs also deplored the disinformation about these vaccines that is circulating on social networks.

Several MEPs reiterated that the process of approving and negotiating access to COVID-19 vaccines must be transparent. They asked when Parliament would have access to the contracts with the producers of vaccines. VP Schinas recognised the need for transparency but said the Commission is bound by confidentiality clauses, including on prices. The Commission is currently negotiating with these companies to be able to share the content of the contracts more widely.

Global approach to vaccination needed

Vice-President Schinas said that the EU has bought more than enough doses for everyone in Europe and will be able finance one billion COVID-19 vaccine doses for less developed non-EU countries through COVAX, so that no one is left behind, and because no one is safe until everyone is safe.

Several MEPs welcomed the EU’s rejection of vaccine “nationalism” as the virus does not respect borders. The approach to vaccinations must be global, they said, and repeated that the EU has a leading role to play in facilitating equal access to vaccines across the world as stated in Parliament’s resolution of 25 November.

Some MEPs raised the issue of intellectual property rights of COVID-19 vaccines. These vaccines should be a global public good, they said, available for all citizens in the world.

You can watch a recording of the debate here.

Background

Developing and deploying an effective and safe vaccine worldwide is likely to be the only way to end the COVID-19 pandemic. To this end, the Commission has proposed an EU vaccines strategy for COVID-19 and listed key steps for effective vaccination strategies and vaccine deployment.

The Commission has also entered into advance purchase agreements with several pharmaceutical laboratories in order to create a portfolio of potential vaccines against COVID-19. Any vaccine must be authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in accordance with safety and efficacy standards. The EMA has recently received two applications for conditional marketing authorisation for two COVID-19 vaccines and is expected to conclude its assessments of the first one 21 December.

On 22 September, Parliament organised a public hearing on “How to secure access to COVID-19 vaccines for EU citizens: clinical trials, production and distribution challenges”.

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

This is the environmental catastrophe you’ve probably never heard of

Electronic cigarettes, a better alternative or a well-advertised product

Parmesan cheese on shelves in Italy (Copyright: European Union, 2014 / Source: EC - Audiovisual Service / Photo: Daniela Giusti)

CETA at risk again: Italy says it won’t ratify EU-Canada trade deal over product protection fears

ECB’s unconventional monetary measures give first tangible results

Cleaner Air in 2020: 0.5% sulphur cap for ships enters into force worldwide

Antimicrobial resistance: how can an intersectoral approach between society and healthcare professionals be developed and applied?

6th Edition of India m2m + iot Forum to open its door on 14th January, in association with The European Sting

Why press freedom should be at the top of everyone’s agenda

UN chief saddened at news of death of former US President George H.W. Bush

Cum-ex tax fraud scandal: MEPs call for inquiry, justice, and stronger tax authorities

Davos on Climate Change: citizens demanding more actions while CEOs tried to balance profit with sustainability

Mobility package: Parliament adopts position on overhaul of road transport rules

This top-10 of business risks misses the biggest of them all: climate change

Nepal faces a crisis as COVID-19 stems the flow of remittances

Fairness in the Food Supply Chain: Commission welcomes Member States’ support for greater price transparency

Can we automate our way out of the savings crisis?

Climate action: 4 shifts the UN chief encourages Governments to make

Around 23 million boys have married before reaching 15; ‘we can end this violation’ says UNICEF chief

The multidisciplinary team facing the multidrug resistant form of Tuberculosis in the state of Amazonas (Brazil)

EU and U.S. castigate Facebook on Cambridge Analytica scandal as citizens’ data privacy goes down the drain again

Humans have caused this environmental crisis. It’s time to change how we think about risk

What is hydroponics – and is it the future of farming?

Mental health in medical students: the deciphered quandary

UN chief condemns air strike that hit school bus in northern Yemen, killing scores of children

The European Parliament double-checks the EU 2014-2020 budget

What you need to know about the Sustainable Development Impact Summit

How to help an ageing population stay wealthy for longer

One million facing food shortages, nutrition crisis after Mozambique cyclones: UNICEF

UNICEF chief hopes 2020 will be ‘a year of peace’ for Syria’s children

Polluted lungs: health in the center of environment discussion

MEPs want the EU to play a stronger role in improving public health

Can we put a price on clean air? Yes, we can

Commission introduces surveillance of imports of bioethanol, and remains open to examining requests from other sectors

The European Brain Drain: a truth or a myth?

In this Tokyo cafe, the waiters are robots operated remotely by people with disabilities

How can we produce enough protein to feed 10 billion people?

Reforms in a few countries drive a decline in average OECD labour taxes

Western Sahara: a ‘peaceful solution’ to conflict is possible, says UN envoy

The first new university in the UK for 40 years is taking a very different approach to education

This is what a Green New Deal for Europe could look like

How UN cultural treasures helped set the stage for Game of Thrones

Parliament boosts consumer rights online and offline

Militias force nearly 2,000 to leave Libyan capital’s largest shelter for internally-displaced: UNHCR

Key quotes from China’s Premier Li on COVID-19, the economy and US relations

EU Citizenship: New survey shows EU citizens are more aware of their rights

FROM THE FIELD: South Sudan’s green shoots, highlight environmental recovery from war

UN chief hails victory of ‘political will’ in historic Republic of North Macedonia accord

We have a space debris problem. Here’s how to solve it

Hiring more female leaders is good for profits. Here’s the evidence

Why we need to solve our quantum security challenges

70 years on, landmark UN human rights document as important as ever

Righting a wrong: UN Fund helps thousands of sex abuse survivors rebuild their lives

What the future holds for the EU – China relations?

As human genome editing moves from the lab to the clinic, the ethical debate is no longer hypothetical

Companies have a new skill to master – innovation

Why 2020 will see the birth of the ‘trust economy’

The Italian crisis may act as a catalyst for less austerity

Foreign direct investments the success secrete of Eurozone

What makes America the world’s most competitive economy?

Climate Change and Human Health: Two Faces of The Same Coin

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