The Belgian Minister of Health is not satisfied with the agreement that a number of EU countries, including the Netherlands, have concluded about a possible corona vaccine. Minister Maggie de Block calls it “unwise” that the Netherlands, Germany, France and Italy have negotiated separately from the EU with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.
“This way you shred everything again and weaken everyone: the overarching initiative of the Commission, but also your own position,” De Block told Flemish media.
In addition to the four countries, which together form a vaccine alliance, the European Commission, the day-to-day management of the EU, is also trying to negotiate with pharmacists. The EU was previously unhappy with the vaccine alliance’s intention to work on it itself.
De Block points out that the four have now negotiated with one pharmaceutical company, but the EU’s efforts are “much broader”. According to the minister, this is also necessary: ”It is not yet possible to predict who will first find a vaccine and whether that company can then produce that vaccine in sufficiently large quantities.”
Today’s agreement with the four countries with AstraZeneca concerns a vaccine that is still under development. The drug is still being tested and it is not yet clear whether it protects against the corona virus. The deal with the pharmaceutical company is about 300 to 400 million doses, which will be distributed among the European member states.