The European Commission has presented a European strategy to accelerate the development, manufacture and deployment of vaccines against COVID-19. An effective and safe vaccine against the virus is our best bet for a permanent solution to the pandemic.
The Commission will support efforts to accelerate the development and availability of safe and effective vaccines within 12-18 months, if not sooner. This complex undertaking requires clinical trials to be conducted in parallel with investment in production capacity to produce millions, if not billions, of doses of an effective vaccine.
An important step towards joint action between Member States has already been taken with the formation of an Inclusive Vaccine Alliance by France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. A joint approach will be pursued in the EU’s Vaccine Strategy in the future.
The strategy has the following objectives:
- To ensure the quality, safety and efficacy of vaccines
- Ensure rapid access to vaccines for Member States and their populations, while leading the global solidarity effort.
- Ensure equitable access to an affordable vaccine as soon as possible
The European Union’s strategy is based on two pillars:
- Ensuring the production of vaccines in the EU and sufficient supplies for its Member States through advance purchase agreements with vaccine producers through the Emergency Support Instrument. In addition to these agreements, additional funding and other forms of support can be provided.
- Adapt the EU regulatory framework to the current emergency and make use of existing regulatory flexibility to accelerate the development, authorisation and availability of vaccines, while maintaining standards of quality, safety and efficacy.