News World EU to use $2.7 billion fund to buy promising COVID-19 vaccines

EU to use $2.7 billion fund to buy promising COVID-19 vaccines

 

The European Union is preparing to use an emergency 2.4-billion- euro fund to make advance purchases of promising vaccines against the new coronavirus, EU officials told Reuters.

The move was discussed at a meeting of EU ambassadors on Wednesday, after Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands said they were speeding up negotiations with pharmaceutical companies to secure access to vaccines currently under development.

The EU rainy-day fund, known as the Emergency Support Instrument (ESI), would also be used to increase vaccine production capacity in Europe and offer liability insurance to pharmaceutical companies, officials said, confirming a Reuters report in May.

The EU’s push follows moves from the United States to secure vaccines under development, including almost a third of the first 1 billion doses planned for AstraZeneca’s experimental COVID-19 shot.

An EU official said it was necessary to do as the United States was doing, even if this meant losing money as many of the vaccines under development are unlikely to be eventually successful.

The bloc is ready to take higher financial risks as it fears not otherwise having rapid access to a vaccine against the virus that has killed 385,000 people worldwide.

The ESI fund is run by the European Commission, the EU executive arm, which acts on behalf of the 27 EU states.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn and his colleagues from France, Italy and the Netherlands wrote to the Commission saying they had joined up to “achieve the fastest and best possible outcome in negotiations with key players in the pharmaceutical industry”, German newspaper Handelsblatt wrote on Thursday.

The paper cited government sources as saying Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands were talking to several pharmaceutical firms including AstraZeneca about government research funds and purchase guarantees.

AstraZeneca was not immediately available for a comment.

The four were also talking to Britain, Norway, Singapore and Japan about possible cooperation.

The EU is also worried that not enough doses might be available to rapidly vaccinate its population of nearly 450 million if a vaccine against the new coronavirus is developed.

It is working on a vaccination strategy to give priority to the people most in need, like medics, nurses and the elderly.

It remains unclear how the EU initiative will be coordinated with plans by individual member states to secure vaccines from pharmaceutical companies.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Britain says: Russia trying to hack and steal Covid-19 vaccine data

Britain's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has reported that hackers backed by the Russian state are trying to steal treatment research pertaining to Covid-19...

Wanted for breaking and entering and theft (see images)

Police are looking for the person depicted in the photos, in the context of the investigation of a case of burglary and theft, an...

A controlled return to sports post-quarantine for fans…

A lengthy announcement has been issued by the Ministry of Health, which includes all the instructions in view of the new season in sports....

Clarifications over pandemic’s state of play in breakaway North Cyprus

The Greek-Cypriot side will ask for clarifications and information on four issues during the upcoming meeting of the bi-communal Technical Committee for Health which...

Weddings on hold, professional event planners in despair

The Pancyprian Association of Professional Events (PASYEPEK) demands that the holding of open weddings, baptisms and other events without restrictions be re-instated again starting...

Taste

Halloumi cheese fingers

Ingredients Serves: 2 1/2 tablespoon olive oil 175g (6 oz) halloumi cheese, cut into sticks 1 dessertspoon lemon juice 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano freshly ground black pepper to taste Method Prep:5min ›...

Koupes (cracked wheat pies) with mushrooms

Ingredients: For the dough: 1½ cup bulgur wheat 2 cups water 1 tsp. salt For the filling: 250gr. mushrooms, finely chopped ½ cup of olive oil 2 big onions, coarsely chopped 1...

Fried zucchini balls with halloumi

Ingredients: 6 medium zucchinis (approximately 1kg) 1 small onion, grated 1 large halloumi (about 250gr.), grated ½ cup simple flour 2 tsps. fine lemon zest 2 big eggs 1 tbsp. fresh...

Rocket salad

Ingredients: 4 cups rocket leaves, rinsed and dried 1 cup cherry tomatoes 1 cup pomegranate seeds 1 red bell pepper ½ cup croutons 2-3 light cheese slices (grated) salt ½ of a...