Commission proposes full suspension of Visa Facilitation Agreement with Russia

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


Today, HERA, the Commission’s Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority, has secured an additional 170,920 doses of Bavarian Nordic’s 3rd generation vaccine to respond to the ongoing monkeypox outbreak and to meet the more immediate needs. This brings the total number of doses directly purchased by the EU to 334,540 for Member States. 

These additional doses will be available for delivery before the end of the year. Meanwhile, the EU-funded monkeypox vaccines already purchased continue to be delivered over the coming weeks and months to EU Member States, Norway, and Iceland.

Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, said: “While we have seen the number of monkeypox cases decreasing in the EU over the past weeks, the threat has not passed, and we cannot let down our guard. We must continue to keep up the pace of our efforts to protect our citizens, especially the most vulnerable. Preparedness is key to respond swiftly to health emergencies. With HERA, the European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority, we have purchased an additional 170,920 vaccine doses for Member States. This brings the total number of doses secured for Member States for urgent needs to over 330,000. This is HERA, a core pillar of our European Health Union, delivering on its mandate to protect our citizens.”

The Commission’s Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA) has purchased the third-generation vaccine for and on behalf of HERA. HERA will then make the vaccines available to EU Member States, Norway, and Iceland.

Furthermore, to meet Member States’ medium-term needs, HERA launched joint procurement procedures for additional vaccines as well as for therapeutics. These actions, combined with EMA’s advice on the intradermal use of the monkeypox vaccine, will ensure quicker protection of the most vulnerable and speed up vaccination for citizens at risk.

Background

Since the start of the outbreak and as of 1 of September, around 18,463 cases of monkeypox have been reported in 29 EU/EEA countries. Monkeypox is a virus transmitted to humans from animals with symptoms very similar but less severe to those seen in the past in smallpox patients. The disease is endemic in West and Central Africa, and it is spreading for the first time in Europe.

The Commission is committed to build a stronger and active European Health Union that is prepared and able to respond to emerging health threats. The COVID-19 pandemic showed the importance of coordination among European countries and the added value of a common response in face of cross-border health threats.

The European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) is a key pillar of the European Health Union and a fundamental asset to strengthen the EU’s health emergency response and preparedness. HERA was established in October 2021 to replace ad hoc approaches for pandemic response with a permanent structure with adequate tools and resources to plan ahead the EU action in case of health emergencies. HERA will anticipate threats and potential health crises, through intelligence gathering and building the necessary response capacities.

From the onset of the monkeypox outbreak, HERA has been, alongside other Commission services and Member States, closely following the evolution of the outbreak in Europe and supporting the preparedness and response efforts of all Member States.

HaDEA is the European Health and Digital Executive Agency, established by the Commission. HaDEA implements European programmes and funds actions and initiatives in the domains of health, food safety, digital technologies and networks, industry, and space.

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