Connect with us

coronavirus

Kyriakides says newly proposed schedule of AstraZeneca ‘not acceptable’

Published

on

Following AstraZeneca's statement (22 January) that it would not be able to meet its delivery schedule agreed with the EU for its COVID-19 vaccine, Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said that the European Union has pre-financed the development of the vaccine and the production and wants to see the return. She said the new schedule is not acceptable to the European Union.

It is anticipated that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will grant approval to the AstraZeneca vaccine by the end of the week, currently scheduled for a meeting on 29 January. Though there are some questions of the vaccine’s efficacy with those over 50, it is logistically less challenging than the other vaccines as it does not require storage at very low temperatures. 

Advertisement

AstraZeneca informed the Commission last Friday (22 January) that it intends to supply considerably fewer doses than planned in the coming weeks than agreed and announced.

The European Union has pre-financed the development of the vaccine. The European Union wants to know exactly which doses have been produced by AstraZeneca and where exactly so far and if, or to whom, they have been delivered.

The joint steering board of the Commission and the 27 member states discussed this with AstraZeneca today. Kyriakides said that the answers of the company have not been satisfactory so far, and that a second meeting is scheduled for tonight (25 January).

The Commission has today proposed to the 27 Mmember states in the Steering Board that an export transparency mechanism will be put in place as soon as possible.

The European Union has supported the rapid development and production of several vaccines against COVID-19 with a total of €2.7 billion. In future, all companies producing vaccines against COVID-19 in the EU will have to provide early notification whenever they want to export vaccines to third countries. The commissioner added that humanitarian deliveries would not be affected by this.

COVID-19

EU and US propose target of 70% of world vaccinated by next year

Published

on

Today (18 October) the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that together with the Biden administration will propose a target of 70% vaccination for the world. 

Von der Leyen said the EU will do its part, on top of its expertise the EU will donate at least  500 million doses of vaccines to the most vulnerable countries. She said that other countries had to set up and that she would work with Prime Minister Draghi and President Biden to rally G20 leaders to commit to this target. 

One billion vaccines exported from the EU

Advertisement

Von der Leyen said the EU had reached an important milestone in exporting more than 1 billion COVID-19 vaccines to the rest of the world: “Vaccines from the European Union have been shipped to more than 150 countries, just to name a few to Japan, to Turkey to the UK to New Zealand, to South Africa to Brazil.”

“We delivered around 87 million doses to the low- and middle-income countries through COVAX. So we made good on our promise, we have always shared our vaccine nation production capacity fairly with the rest of the world. We've said that at least every second dose is produced in the European Union will go abroad.”

Advertisement

Von der Leyen added that this hadn’t stopped the EU from reaching its target of more than 75% of the adult population fully vaccinated. She pointed to the fact that the EU managed to do this even when vaccines were scarce.

Continue Reading

coronavirus

Romania has the highest COVID mortality rate in the world

Published

on

The health crisis in Romania has taken a dramatic turn. The coordinator of Romania’s vaccination campaign, Valeriu Gheorghiţă, says that Romania is already in the same scenario as Italy was last year, writes Cristian Gherasim, Bucharest correspondent.

In the spring of 2020, at the onset of the COVID pandemic in Europe, Italy was the most affected country. The number of infections grew rapidly, and hospitals were overwhelmed.

Another top Romanian official dealing with COVID pandemic – the head of the country’s emergency unit- said that a comparison between the current situation in Romania and that in the Italian region of Lombardy is not exaggerated and admits that the situation is very serious.

Advertisement

After a botched communication campaign, all officials are calling for people to get vaccinated, saying it is the only way to overcome the 4th wave of the pandemic, which has become so virulent because the Delta variant is spreading much more easily.

Hospital and ICUs across the country are overwhelmed with media constantly reporting that no ICU beds are available. The situation is as such that ICU beds usually become available only after a patient dies.

The European Union has so far sent to Romania 250 oxygen concentrators and over and 5,000 bottles of monoclonal antibodies, as aid from the EU's strategic reserve, for the treatment of COVID patients who are seriously ill. More than 20 fans and oxygen concentrators arrived in the country, according to a statement from the European Commission. The European Commissioner for Crisis Management says that the aid is also a form of reciprocity to Romania’s efforts to provide assistance to other EU countries during the pandemic.

Advertisement

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism has coordinated and co-financed the delivery of over 190 million items of personal protective and medical equipment, reinforced hospitals with additional medical staff and delivered vaccines and other essential equipment to more than 55 countries. In addition, the EU created a strategic rescEU medical reserve and distribution mechanism under the umbrella of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The reserve enables the swift delivery of medical equipment hosted by Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden and The Netherlands.”, the EC statement reads.

Thought not as bad as Romania, the region of Eastern Europe is by far the worst hit in Europe. Eastern Europe (Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina) is red showing a spike in COVID cases. These countries have a high number of deaths compared to their populations. Thus, Romania has the highest average, of 16.6. It is the highest average in Europe, but unfortunately, according to the latest data, it is also the highest average in the world.

Romania is followed, in Europe, by Bulgaria, with an average of 12.37 deaths, according to Our World in Data. Lithuania also has a rather difficult situation, with an average of 10.14 deaths, given that the incidence of COVID-19 is high in this country.

On the other hand, in Western Europe, France, Italy, Great Britain, Portugal have clamped down on the pandemic with the death rate being very low. In the UK it is below 2, although the number of cases is comparable to that of the previous wave of the pandemic. The number of deaths in UK where the population is largely vaccinated is now even 20 times lower.

Continue Reading

Belgium

Commission approves €45 million Belgian scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak

Published

on

The European Commission has approved a €45 million Belgian scheme to support companies active in the Brussels-Capital region affected by the coronavirus outbreak and the restrictive measures that the Belgian government had to implement to limit the spread of the virus. The public support was approved under the State Aid Temporary Framework. Under the scheme, which goes under the name 'la prime Relance', the aid will take the form of direct grants. Eligible beneficiaries are companies of all sizes active in the following sectors: nightclubs, restaurants and cafés (‘ReCa') and some of their suppliers, events, culture, tourism, sport and passenger transport. In order to be eligible, companies must have been registered in the Central Bank for Enterprises (‘la Banque-Carrefour des Enterprises' ) by 31 December 2020. The Commission found that the Belgian scheme is in line with the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. In particular, the support (i) will not exceed €1.8 million per company; and (ii) will be granted no later than 31 December 2021.

The Commission concluded that the measure is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to remedy a serious disturbance in the economy of a member state, in line with Article 107(3)(b) TFEU and the conditions set out in the Temporary Framework. On this basis, the Commission approved the measure under EU state aid rules. More information on the Temporary Framework and other actions taken by the Commission to address the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be found here. The non-confidential version of the decision will be made available under the case number SA.64775 in the state aid register on the Commission's competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved.

Advertisement

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending