When presenting the new European strategy for COVID-19 vaccines to the Committee for Environment, Public Health and Food Safety on Monday, Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides underlined that a joint EU Strategy is the most efficient and solidary way to develop, manufacture and distribute a safe COVID-19 vaccine accessible for all. She also said that all 27 member states expressed their support for the Commission to secure Advance Purchase Agreements with vaccine producers via the Emergency Support Instrument.
Temporary derogation from clinical trials on GMOs
To facilitate the development, authorisation and consequently availability of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, the Commission proposal from 17 June proposes to establish a temporary derogation from certain rules for clinical trials of drugs involving GMOs.
While Members welcomed the need to adapt the rules, they stressed that standards for vaccine quality, safety and efficacy must be maintained.
The Vaccine Alliance by France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands
Some MEPs asked about the division of labour between the EU and its member states and enquired how the Commission viewed the Vaccine Alliance created by France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands, which aims to secure the supply of a potential COVID-19 vaccine for Europe. The Commissioner replied that the Vaccine Alliance was an inclusive initiative by four member states and open to all.
A public hearing on “How to secure access to COVID-19 vaccines for EU citizens: clinical trials, production and distribution challenges” is tentatively scheduled to take place by videoconference before the summer recess.
Watch the full recording of the debate here.
The EU and member states are closely cooperating in the race to find safe and effective vaccines to counter the spread of COVID-19. In the world, there are over 50 different vaccines under development.
On 4 May, the EU hosted the Coronavirus Global Response pledging event, which until now has raised close to 10 billion EUR to boost the work on vaccines, diagnostics and treatments against the virus.