Brussels- The European Medicines Agency recommended a marketing authorisation for BioNTech and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Following this decision, the European Commission will grant an authorisation to deploy the vaccine in the EU within days making the first vaccinations possible before the end of the year.
ONE welcomes the progress but also cautions that to end the virus globally is essential that European countries do not hoard the vaccine at the expense of poorer countries as this might prolong the pandemic and undermine the positive news.
Emily Wigens, EU Director at the ONE Campaign, reacted: “This is great news but we need to make sure vaccines reach everywhere. If we want to end this virus in Europe, we need to ensure that every country can access the vaccines and treatments. If the EU and rich countries monopolise the vaccine doses this will increase the threat to the most vulnerable countries who can not afford it, extending the lifetime of the pandemic around the world.
Getting vaccines to people everywhere is key to getting this pandemic under control. We need the EU to use every tool in its toolbox, from ensuring that mechanisms specifically designed to ensure access to COVID vaccines and speed and scale globally are fully funded, to supporting the waiver of intellectual property restrictions. The news that CureVac – a major pharmaceutical company working on COVID19 vaccines – is now supporting the suspension of patents for vaccines should be a wake up call for those blocking these decisions.”