EU assures ramped-up global vaccine contributions, development of cure vs variants

The European Union and its member states and financial institutions will continue to step up their contribution to the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, EU Ambassador to the Philippines Luc Véron said Tuesday.

European Union Ambassador to the Philippines Luc Véron (via Twitter)

“No one will be safe until everyone is safe,” Véron said during the first-ever EU Meets the Press virtual forum.

Since December 2020, the EU has exported 700 million vaccines, which is equivalent to almost half of their production, to more than 130 low and middle-income countries and the Philippines is among the top 10 beneficiaries of the COVAX.

COVAX, the global initiative to support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, aims to vaccinate 20 percent or 22 million Filipinos.

Véron stressed that the EU with its Member States is on track to provide hundreds of millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses by the end of 2021, mainly through COVAX, to countries, which need them most.

Collectively, the EU and its Member States are the biggest contributors to the COVAX facility with close to €3 billion pledged to date and the leading provider of vaccines to the world.

However, the EU envoy emphasized that global cooperation is “crucial to effectively fight the COVID-19 pandemic, ensure early access to vaccines, diagnostics and treatments everywhere, and start a sustainable global recovery”.

Towards that goal, he said the EU is fully playing its part and has been leading the multilateral response to the pandemic.

Simultaneous with the COVID-19 global response, Véron said it is essential for the EU to anticipate and tackle new variants of the virus and to rapidly develop and produce large-scale effective vaccines against those variants.

“The European Union is bringing together science, industry and public authorities, to speed up the work to respond to that threat,” he said.