EU to distribute coronavirus vaccine to all Member States at the same time
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EU to distribute coronavirus vaccine to all Member States at the same time

Credit: Belga

Coronavirus vaccines that are validated and pre-ordered at a European level will be distributed to all EU Member States “at the same time and at the same conditions, based on their share of the EU population they have,” Ursula von der Leyen said on Thursday.

Member States have agreed on this condition, von der Leyen said at a joint press conference with European Council President Charles Michel following of a video conference of EU leaders on the subject of the new coronavirus.

Europe must anticipate the moment when one or several vaccines will become available, said Charles Michel. Von der Leyen pointed out that “the whole infrastructure for vaccination must be ready.”

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Michel also underlined the importance of deciding on who should receive priority access to vaccines. The Commission has sent Member States a document based on scientific recommendations, highlighting the elements to be taken into account in order to prioritise vaccinations.

“We ask the Member States to send in their national vaccination plans, to make sure that they are all fit for purpose,” Ursula von der Leyen added.

The Commission has already concluded advance purchase agreements with three pharmaceutical groups.

Through these contracts, it ensures that it will acquire a certain number of doses, if the vaccine developed successfully passes all the phases of clinical trials and proves to be sufficiently safe and effective to be placed on the European market.

The Commission is close to similar contracts with three other firms and discussions are progressing well with a seventh.

Asked to comment on the order of vaccines by individual member states, a Commission spokesperson underlined at today’s press conference that all vaccines entering EU territory must be approved by the European Medicines Agency as to their safety and efficency.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times