EU to donate 100 million vaccine doses to low and middle-income countries

EU to donate 100 million vaccine doses to low and middle-income countries
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Credit: Belga

The European Union wants to donate at least 100 million vaccine doses to low- and middle-income countries in 2021, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Friday.

Everyone, everywhere in the world, should have access to vaccines against the coronavirus, stated von der Leyen at the G20 leaders’ summit in Rome.

The summit was co-hosted by the European Commission and Italy as chair of the G20, and brought together G20 leaders, heads of international and regional organisations, and representatives of global health bodies, to share lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, and develop and endorse the ‘Rome Declaration’ of principles.

“We will do our part,” von der Leyen said, adding that the EU aims at “donating at least 100 million to low and middle-income countries by the end of 2021.”

Additionally, the EU is “working closely with [its] industrial partners to supply vaccines to low and middle-income countries,” von der Leyen said.

The companies “pledged” to make available 1.3 billion doses to those companies this year, with a billion from BionNTech/Pfizer, 200 million from Johnson & Johnson, and 100 million from Moderna.

“It is vital that Europe does not waste the lessons learned from the pandemic,” commented Roger Casale, secretary general  of citizens’ rights NGO New Europeans. “One of those lessons is that we need to involve citizens much more closely in the development of policies to counter pandemics and in the implementation of those policies.”

“This requires deep, transformative change in many other areas of policy-making including education, border control, citizenship and the economy. That’s why a European Health Union must also be a union of citizens.”

The Brussels Times

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