BRUSSELS, February 10 – RIA Novosti. Members of the European Parliament, who spoke on Wednesday at the debate on coronavirus in the plenary session, accused EU institutions of incompetence, as well as the decision to abandon the Russian Sputnik V COVID vaccine “due to geopolitical reasons.”
Debates on the fight against coronavirus and a European vaccination strategy are taking place in the European Parliament on Wednesday. The head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen delivered an opening speech to the deputies.
French MP Jordan Bardella, representing the Identity and Democracy faction, argued that European technocracy has demonstrated “obvious incompetence” since the start of the pandemic. “Britain, freed from the EU, has already vaccinated ten million people … Hungary has decided to directly order two million doses of the Russian vaccine, which you have decided to ignore for ideological reasons,” he said, addressing the head of the European Commission and European Commissioner for Health, Stella Kyriakides, who was present at the meeting.
He stressed that every minute of delay in the supply of vaccines costs France “another closed company with all the ensuing social consequences.” Bardella also added that the EU should not ignore the national powers of European states in managing their own healthcare.
Another parliamentarian from the same Identity and Democracy faction, Nicolas Bay, wondered why the EU has been imposing sanctions against Russia for seven years, it itself suffers losses because of them, and then is forced to request a Russian vaccine, having previously questioned its effectiveness … “We can also emphasize the absurdity of the EU's position in relation to Russia. You have been imposing sanctions against Russia for seven years now, from which we suffer, including in the sale of agricultural products. And seven years later, we are seeking help from the Russian transport aviation to organize supplies of masks from China! ” – the deputy was indignant.
He noted that the EU “is forced to request the Sputnik V vaccine after long doubts about its effectiveness.” Bay also criticized the visit to Moscow of the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell, “who offered nothing to Russia, but only demanded the release of Alexei Navalny.”
Left-wing coalition MP Manon Aubry, for her part, is confident that “it is not the European Commission, but multinational pharmaceutical giants, who are running the show when it comes to delivering vaccines to the EU.” She demanded transparency from the EC, in particular, in matters of vaccine prices and delivery times, liability provisions. “These companies (Pfizer / BioNTech and AstraZeneca) were not prosecuted for disrupting the delivery schedules, moreover, the intellectual property for vaccines developed with EU funding will remain with the companies,” the MP complained and suggested creating a committee that would determine “responsibility The European Commission for such a failure. “
On the other hand, Manfred Weber, the head of the EPP, the largest European People's Party in the European Parliament, stressed that the demand for vaccines in the EU is significantly ahead of supply. “The EU has made mistakes, everything has not been perfect in recent weeks and months,” he admitted. However, the strategy of centralized procurement of vaccines was correct, the parliamentarian is sure. The spread of the coronavirus “For the first time in the history of the EU has such a huge responsibility, individually states would find themselves in a much more difficult situation. The EU has no room for error, so we must be very demanding,” – stressed the deputy.
Currently, vaccines from Pfizer / BioNTech (purchase up to 600 million doses), Moderna (160 million doses) and AstraZeneca (up to 400 million doses) are authorized in the EU market. In addition, the EC entered into contracts for the supply of vaccines to the EU with Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi-GSK, CureVac. Until now, these developers have not yet submitted applications for the authorization of their drugs on the EU market, but an application from J&J is expected in the near future.
Thus, thanks to the contracts of the European Commission, the EU countries will be able to get access to more than 2.3 billion doses of anti-coronavirus vaccines. The EU expects that by the end of the summer in Europe, about 70% of the population will already be vaccinated.
In recent weeks, the EU has faced several challenges in the supply of allied vaccines from Pfizer / BioNTech and AstraZeneca. Delays in deliveries could derail Brussels' ambitious vaccination plans.
Hungary recently approved the Russian Sputnik V vaccine for use in the country and signed an agreement with its manufacturer for the supply of the drug. More and more interest in the Russian vaccine is shown in other countries of the European Union.
Earlier, an EU official said that the union already has a sufficient portfolio of vaccines against COVID-19, which allows the entire EU population to be vaccinated. At the same time, he said, Brussels does not close its doors for new vaccine manufacturers.