Medical &Health

Ensuring global access to Covid vaccines EU’s priority

Head of Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh Ambassador Rensje Teerink has said ‘Team Europe’ will share with low- and middle-income countries at least 100 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines by the end of 2021, mainly via Covax.

“Ensuring access to safe and affordable Covid-19 vaccines around the world is a priority for the EU,” she told UNB while giving an overview of what the EU is contributing under Covax.

The Ambassador said Team Europe (the EU, its institutions and all 27 member states) is on track to exceed this goal, with 200 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines foreseen to be shared with the countries that need them most, by the end of 2021.

Teerink said Covax has so far delivered 122 million doses to 136 countries.

In parallel, Team Europe has launched an initiative on manufacturing and access to vaccines, medicines and health technologies in Africa, she said.

This initiative, Teerink said, will help create the right conditions for local vaccine manufacturing in Africa, backed by 1 billion € from the EU budget and the European Investment Bank.

On July 9, Team Europe agreed to support large-scale investment in vaccine production by the Institut Pasteur in Dakar.

This new manufacturing plant will reduce Africa’s 99% dependence on vaccine imports and strengthen future pandemic resilience on that continent, the envoy added.

Specifically for Bangladesh, the EU Ambassador said, 106,000 doses were shipped while the needs are of course much bigger.

The envoy said the EU has been the driving force behind the global response to Covid-19.

She said they will continue to push for more vaccine doses though the issue is not in the hands of the European Union External Action Service but at the Humanitarian Aid department.

Source: United News of Bangladesh