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EU agrees to fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, once available

European Council President Charles Michel.   | Photo Credit: AFP

European Union leaders agreed on Thursday to fairly distribute among EU countries a vaccine against the coronavirus, once such a vaccine becomes available, the chairman of the leaders said.

“We very much agreed, it was repeated around the video conference table, to guarantee a fair distribution between member states in the case of contracts signed by the Commission and those we hope will be signed in the coming weeks,” Charles Michel told a news conference after an EU video-summit.

Fund transfer of COVID patients

The European Commission will spend 220 million euros ($260 million) to move COVID-19 patients across borders of the 27-nation bloc to prevent healthcare systems in the most affected countries from collapsing, the head of the European Commission said.

“The spread of the virus will overwhelm our healthcare systems if we do not act urgently,” she said after a video conference of EU leaders to coordinate the EU's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

She also said the EU would work for the quick validation, at EU level, of rapid antigen tests and that the Commission was in talks with four companies to secure potential COVID vaccines, after it had already sealed supply deals with other three.

Reuters reported in September that the EU was in talks with Novavax.

The EU has already secured potential vaccines being developed by AstraZeneca, Sanofi and Johnson & Johnson. It has also said to be in talks with Moderna , CureVac and a partnership of Pfizer and BionTech

The EU Commission also said it will work to have a common passenger locator form by the end of the year to trace travellers in the bloc.

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Printable version | Nov 26, 2020 1:16:23 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/eu-agrees-to-fair-distribution-of-covid-19-vaccines-once-available/article32977171.ece

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