After the controversy over the management of vaccines by the EU, the president of the EU Commission, Ursula von Der Leyen, launches a new proposal: Europe could co-finance the expansion, the transformation of existing factories or the construction of new factories in EU countries to increase the production capacity of anti-Covid vaccines. The plan to use the resources of the European budget to get out of the bottleneck that limits the distribution of vaccines is contained in a letter drafted on Tuesday by von der Leyen together with Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, which has held the EU presidency for six months since January and is addressed to the heads of state and government of the member states.
In the two-page letter, anticipated by Southgerman newspaper, from the Leyen afferma che the Commission should use funds from the EU budget to support ‘the expansion or conversion of existing factories or the construction of new onesSo that more vaccine can be produced. Furthermore, the authorities should encourage companies to cooperate. And as an example, the letter cites “Dear Colleagues” Sanofi and Novartis, the two companies that are helping Biontech of Mainz with production.
In the letter von der Leyen and Costa also suggest an alliance that brings together innovative companies, producers and regulators to ensure that the EU can detect new dangerous viruses early and respond ‘much faster’ to a future biological threat.
Von der Leyen is under fire for delays in vaccine deliveries. The Commission had ordered 2.3 billion servings from six producers between August and November, but due to delivery delays, vaccination campaigns are proceeding slowly. For example, Astra Zeneca will only be able to deliver 40 million doses by the end of March instead of 80 million. Production cuts and delays have also been announced by Biontech and its American partner Pfizer.