BRUSSELS (AP) – The European Fee on Monday defended its coronavirus vaccination technique amid mounting criticism from member states over the gradual rollout of COVID-19 vaccines within the area of 450 million individuals.
Vaccination applications within the 27-nation bloc have gotten off to a gradual begin and a few EU members have been fast in charge the EU’s govt arm for a perceived failure to manage the right variety of doses. In Finland, well being authorities are reportedly sad that the nation solely acquired about 40,000 doses in December, as an alternative of the anticipated 300,000.
Going through a flood of questions on vaccines throughout a press convention, EU Fee spokesman Eric Mamer mentioned that the primary downside with the deployment of vaccination applications “is a manufacturing capability downside, an issue that each one face. “
“Actually, now we have signed contracts that might enable member states to have entry to 2 billion doses, largely sufficient to vaccinate your entire EU inhabitants,” he mentioned. The block has nearly 450 million individuals.
As a part of its technique, the EU has sealed six vaccine contracts with Moderna, AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSK, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, Pfizer-BioNTech and CureVac. However solely the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been authorised to be used up to now within the 27-nation bloc. The EU well being regulator is anticipated to determine on Wednesday whether or not to advocate authorizing the Moderna vaccine.
Mamer additionally clarified the fee’s position in successful contracts with potential drug producers. He mentioned the fee didn’t instantly purchase doses of vaccines, however “acted as an investor” to offer financing to pharmaceutical corporations growing vaccines. The aim was to speed up manufacturing capacities and analysis, with all EU nations free to determine what number of doses they might purchase from vaccine producers of their alternative.
“Finally, these vaccines must be produced, delivered, and a few of the logistics chains concerned are very refined,” Mamer mentioned, insisting that vaccination applications have simply began and that enormous dose deliveries are scheduled for April.
When requested why the Fee didn’t purchase extra doses of the Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine, Stefan de Keersmaecker, the Fee’s well being coverage spokesperson, mentioned that “the primary philosophy was to diversify our portfolio, not put all of our eggs in a single basket”.
De Keersmaecker mentioned the contract with Moderna gives for an preliminary buy of 80 million doses on behalf of all EU nations, however that the fee intends to make use of its choice to request an extra 80 million doses as soon as it’s authorised. the vaccine. With the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the fee has the choice of an extra 100 million doses that may carry the full to 300 million injections. Each vaccines require two injections to be totally efficient.
Comply with AP’s protection of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic and https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak