Today, the European Commission, via its Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority, signed a framework contract for the joint procurement of Adjupanrix, a pandemic influenza vaccine, with the pharmaceutical company GSK.
12 Member States and other joint procurement countries are participating in the agreement, under which they can purchase up to 85,000,000 vaccine doses if necessary, in the event of an influenza pandemic.
Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said:
“Preparedness is key in a health emergency. COVID-19 has shown this beyond any doubt. Today we secure up to 85 million influenza pandemic vaccine doses through our Health Emergency and Preparedness Response Authority, to protect our citizens should such an emergency arise in the future. This is a true European Health Union in action.”
An influenza pandemic would be a global epidemic caused by a new influenza strain to which there is little to no pre-existing immunity in the human population. While it is difficult to predict an influenza pandemic, it is important to be prepared.
The Commission is committed to build a stronger and active European Health Union that is prepared and able to respond to emerging health threats. The COVID-19 pandemic showed the importance of coordination among European countries and the added-value of a common response in face of cross-border health threats.
The EU’s Joint Procurement Agreement offers the 36 participating countries to jointly procure medical counter-measures as an alternative or complement to procurement at national level.
The aim of the joint procurement mechanism is to secure a more equitable access to specific medical countermeasures and to improve the security of supply, together with more balanced prices for the participating EU countries.
In order to be adequately prepared for an outbreak of a serious cross-border threat to health, the institutions of the EU, together with countries that have joined the JPA, may engage in a joint procurement procedure with a view to purchase vaccines, antivirals, and medical countermeasures for serious cross-border threats to health. HERA continues to work closely with the participating countries to identify and implement priorities, such as vaccines or therapeutics, for joint procurement.
More information: European Commission – Press release