EU Makes A United Bid For COVID-19 Vaccines
International Procurement Proposal Opens Door For Global Solidarity
A new EU-wide strategy on procuring potential COVID-19 vaccines through advance purchase agreements has been launched, replacing earlier fragmented efforts by some member states.
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With the number of COVID-19 cases continuing to rise across Europe, the European Commission executive has published a set of actions to be taken at EU and national level to ensure future vaccines are allocated fairly, targeted at priority populations, and labeled in a way that increases production capacity, reduces transport costs and improves distribution.
As the race to develop COVID-19 vaccines continues, EU member states are ready to financially cover certain of the companies’ risks, but not to change the rules on liability. Transparency proponents are calling for all contracts on vaccine purchases to be made public.
State-imposed mechanisms such as compulsory licensing will discourage rather than encourage investment in R&D, says Europe’s research-based industry. It has also dismissed suggestions that Europe is too dependent on API supplies from third countries.