Daily Management Review

EU Plans To Secure Access To Promising Covid-19 Vaccines With A $2.7 Billion Fund


EU Plans To Secure Access To Promising Covid-19 Vaccines With A $2.7 Billion Fund
The European Union is set to make advance purchases of promising vaccines against the novel coronavirus cased disease Covid-19 from an emergency 2.4-billion- euro ($2.7 billion) fund, according to reports quoting EU officials.
According to the reports, this measure came up for discussions during a meeting of EU ambassadors on Wednesday after EU members Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands said that they were in the process of speeding up of their talks with pharmaceutical companies to ensure that they are able to access vaccines that are currently under development and if and when those are cleared for public usage.
According to reports quoting EU officials, the block will also be putting to use the so called EU rainy-day fund, known officially as the Emergency Support Instrument (ESI), for increasing the capacity of vaccine production Europe and for offering liability insurance to pharmaceutical companies.
Earlier, the United States government had also announced that they had taken measures to secure their access to vaccines that are currently under development which included almost one third of the first 1 billion doses planned for AstraZeneca's experimental Covid-19 vaccines soon after clearance for usage.
The EU justified its decision to follow the footsteps of the US move related to securing of vaccines even if that meant that it would lose out on money because, potentially, many of the vaccines under development will eventually not be successful.
The bloc is willing to take on this financial risk because it feels that otherwise ti will not have access to a vaccine against a disease that has already killed more then 385,000 people all across the world.
The European Commission, the EU executive arm, which acts on behalf of the 27 EU states, operated the ESI fund.
According to a report published on Thursday by the German newspaper Handelsblatt, the German Health Minister Jens Spahn and his colleagues from France, Italy and the Netherlands had informed the Commission in a letter that they had joined up to "achieve the fastest and best possible outcome in negotiations with key players in the pharmaceutical industry". The report further claimed that discussions on government research funds and purchase guarantees were being held with several pharmaceutical firms including AstraZeneca by Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands, quoting government sources with knowledge of the matter.
There has have been no immediate comments from AstraZeneca.
The four countries were also discussing about possibilities of further cooperation with Britain, Norway, Singapore and Japan.
As and when a vaccine against the new coronavirus is developed, there not be enough doses might be available to rapidly vaccinate the population of almost 450 million of the EU, fears the officials of the bloc. The vaccine strategy that the EU is currently working on is focused on providing a vaccine to on priority basis of the people most in need, like medics, nurses and the elderly, said reports.
The reports however did not clarify how the most recent plans of ensuring access to vaccines by the EU will be adjusted and coordinated with the efforts that are being made by the individual member countries about partnerships for the vaccine with pharmaceutical companies.