By Matthew Roscoe • 31 January 2021 • 18:49
CREDIT: "Parliament elects Ursula von der Leyen as first female Commission President" by European Parliament is licensed under CC BY 2.0
European Commission Creates Body to Prepare for Future Pandemics.
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has shared through her personal Twitter account that today (January 31) she has met with the heads of different pharmaceutical companies with the aim of improving the response to future epidemics.
More specifically, President von der Leyen held a videoconference with the CEOs of the pharmaceutical companies with which the European Commission has signed Advance Purchase Agreements, in the context of our Vaccines Strategy – BionNTech/Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Curevac and Sanofi.
The Commission has decided to set up the EU Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA), a body that they say will help “anticipate threats and identify responses,” pointing out the objective is to also prepare for the appearance of the different variants of the coronavirus, since it “poses the imminent threat of a reduced efficacy of recently approved vaccines.”
von der Leyen said: “In preparation of HERA, a pilot response on European Bio-defence preparedness is being launched already. The aim is to fund design and development of vaccines and scale-up manufacturing in the short and medium-term, and also to target the variants of COVID-19.”
The discussion is said to have explored requirements for very rapid development, manufacturing and regulatory approval of vaccines for COVID-19 variants in the EU.
Currently, the EU has been having trouble with vaccine companies who have had problems meeting deadlines and deliveries at a time when the third wave is reaching record numbers of infections in some European countries.
Further discussions are set to take place with the industry and other relevant sectors over the following weeks.
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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