EU leaders agree to donate 100 million doses of vaccine

Brussels-EU leaders agreed on Tuesday to donate at least 100 million COVID-19 vaccines to poor countries by the end of the year as supply is steadily increasing across Europe.

Twenty-seven leaders gathered in Brussels for the two-day summit endorsed a text promising to continue their efforts to “increase global vaccine production capacity to meet global needs.”

Leaders also reiterated their support for the UN-sponsored COVAX program, calling for “strengthening work to ensure global equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine.” COVAX aims to ensure fair access to COVID-19 shots in low and middle income countries.

The program suffered a major setback last week when its largest supplier, the Serum Institute of India, announced that it was likely not to export vaccines until the end of the year due to the COVID-19 crisis in the subcontinent.

Leaders acknowledged that vaccination eventually increased across the continent after a painfully late start compared to successful drives in the United States, United Kingdom and Israel. European Commission President Ursula von der Reyen said that by the end of May, there would be 300 million doses in the region and about 46% of the 450 million adult population would receive at least the first dose. We presented the suggestive data to the leaders. Of the vaccine.

Von de Araien
European Commission President Ursula von der Reyen will attend the roundtable meeting at the EU Summit in Brussels on May 25, 2021. (JohnThys / Pool via AP)

However, as vaccination campaigns continue to progress in Western Europe, poor countries are struggling to obtain supplies. At a health summit in Rome last week, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said nearly 1.5 billion vaccines had been given in more than 180 countries around the world. However, in low-income countries it was only 0.3%, but in wealthier countries it was about 85% controlled.

In addition to the shot donation, the leaders have promised to support countries that need to develop vaccine production locally.

It was unclear which vaccine would be donated from the EU portfolio. Coronavirus vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency, Block’s drug regulator, include Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson.

The agreement came earlier this month after the United States announced earlier this month that it would share an additional 20 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine with the world, in addition to its previous promise to share about 60 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine. It was.

Leaders are also working with European Union lawmakers to issue a COVID-19 certificate in the midst of the summer holiday season, a move aimed at boosting travel and tourism following the coronavirus pandemic restrictions. Welcomed the compromise last week.

The EU plans to put the cross-border pass into operation by July 1. These will be delivered to EU residents who can prove that they have been vaccinated, and to those who have tested negative for the virus or have evidence of recovery from COVID. 19, and should help avoid quarantine and more testing on arrival.

Samuel Petrekin

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