June 18, 2020

EU launches vaccine strategy: will it be global?

Today the European Commission proposed a new Vaccine Strategy for the EU. While the strategy at its core has the objective of securing the necessary volumes of a safe vaccine for EU citizens at a good price, the EC also expressed its commitment to make it accessible for all the regions of the world, in particular the most vulnerable countries who struggle to secure vaccines for their populations. This is good news and opens the door to this being a global instrument, not just one for Europeans.

At the Pandemic Action Network, we’re committed to ensuring the EU delivers a truly global, equitable response to COVID-19. The EU vaccines strategy set out by President von der Leyen this morning must expand globally. The “buyers’ group” could see richer countries negotiate additional tranches of vaccines that will cover citizens in LMICs, LICS and fragile states.

As the EC communication sets it “this is not only a European challenge, it is also a global one. All regions of the world are affected. The spread of the virus has shown that no region is safe until the virus is under control everywhere.”

COVID-19 anywhere means it is a global threat, including EU citizens, and a global strategy is the only way to sustainably eradicate the virus. We hope that EU leaders have the foresight to use this opportunity to deliver on the strong verbal commitments they have all made to ensure a truly global, equitable response.