Pandemic Response Report Card: Team Europe

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… since President Ursula von der Leyen said “We need to produce [the vaccine] and to deploy it to every single corner of the world. And make it available at affordable prices. This vaccine will be our universal, common good.”

What’s next?

Team Europe was among the first and loudest voices for a global response when the pandemic first hit. However, renewed urgency and action is needed to deliver on the bloc’s ambitious promises to vaccinate the world.

The EU has committed to share a total of 500 million doses by mid-2022, which includes at least 300 million doses committed by Member States, and another 200 million the European Commission aims to deliver by mid-2022. Whilst these commitments are welcome, they have been slow to translate into action. To date, 108.1 million doses have been delivered by EU countries. In order to facilitate better planning and effective roll out of vaccine programmes by partners, the European Commission & Member States must publish detailed monthly calendars, setting out where and when promised doses will be shared.

ONE is also calling on the European Commission to prioritize new funding for global access to vaccines, tools and treatments via the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A). In 2021, the Commission has so far committed just $0.7 billion of the $2.2 billion it was asked to pledge to ACT-A. The EU must step up and deliver it’s fairshare of the funding needed to ensure doses and treatments are procured and administered in low- and lower-middle income countries by mid-2022.

While the European Commission does not hold Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), EU Member States received a third of the new $650 billion allocation. However, despite a number of EU leaders endorsing an initial target of $100 billion back in May 2021, only a small number of EU countries have committed to rechannel a portion of their SDRs to low-income countries. EU Member States should commit to meeting their fair share of the $100 billion promise in 2021 and set out plans for recycling much more next year to support the global economic recovery when new mechanisms to do so are in place.

We have the tools we need to end the pandemic, but we are failing to both produce as many as possible and get them to every corner of the world. The EU can help by supporting the WHO’s technology-transfer hub and backing a temporary waiver of intellectual property for COVID-19 tools at the WTO. These tools can help countries quickly adapt existing facilities to make more mRNA vaccines.