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EU looks for joint breakthrough in coronavirus vaccine

18 June 2020, 19:39 CET
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EU looks for joint breakthrough in coronavirus vaccine

Coronavirus research

(BRUSSELS) - The EU Commission presented Wednesday plans for a joint European approach to the development, manufacture and deployment of vaccines against COVID-19, and a permanent solution to the pandemic.

With every month gained in finding a vaccine counting towards saving lives, livelihoods and also billions of euros, an effective and safe vaccine against the virus is seen as Europe's best bet to achieve a permanent solution to the pandemic.

This was a moment for science and solidarity, according to the Commission president Ursula von der Leyen: "Nothing is certain, but I am confident that we can mobilise the resources to find a vaccine to beat this virus once and for all. "

Ms von der Leyen made clear that a vaccine breakthrough in Europe not only be "a testament to what partners can achieve when we put our minds, research and resources together" but that the EU would "do all in its power to ensure that all peoples of this world have access to a vaccine, irrespective of where they live."

Vaccine development is a complex and lengthy process and with today's strategy, the Commission would support the efforts to accelerate the development and availability of vaccines in a time frame between 12 and 18 months, if not earlier.

The strategy rests on two pillars: securing the production of vaccines in the EU and sufficient supplies for its Member States through Advance Purchase Agreements with vaccine producers; and adapting the EU's regulatory framework to the current urgency and making use of the flexibility of our rule to speed up the development, authorisation and availability of vaccines.

The EU executive says that this is is not a European challenge, but a global one, and it says it remains ready to explore with international partners if a significant number of countries would agree to pool resources for jointly reserving future vaccines from companies for themselves as well as for low and middle-income countries at the same time.

Communication on the EU Strategy for COVID-19 vaccines

Coronavirus Vaccines Strategy Factsheet

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