Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The EU's vaccination strategy has failed


 Guy Verhofstadt, Belgian MEP, believes the EU's COVID-19 vaccination strategy has failed. He demands the renegotiation of contracts with pharmaceutical companies.

"After almost two months, vaccination coverage in Europe is dramatically low. On average, no more than four percent of EU citizens have received the first dose. In most countries, immunization has almost stopped," writes Verhofstadt in an article published on the EUobserver portal.

The MEP notes that over 75 percent. of all vaccines in the world are produced within the EU. Nevertheless, there is a shortage of supplies in every Member State. Meanwhile, about 10 percent of the population in the US have already received the first dose, and in the UK - 20%.

"How is this possible? In my opinion, the answer lies in the contracts negotiated by Europe with pharmaceutical companies. These contracts are very unbalanced. They give accurate prices and quantities, but are weak and unclear in terms of deliveries and timing, and offer pharmaceutical companies ways to avoid obligations," - points out influential MEP.

"In the short term, we must use the strength of the European Union to renegotiate contracts with the pharmaceutical industry. And in the long term, a real health union with a real budget must be created so that we can match the United States in supporting the development and production of new drugs" - he argues. 

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