“It will therefore be faster to have suitable vaccines available, without reducing the safety criteria,” said the Commissioner for Health.
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Europe is shifting into second gear. Accused of slowness in managing the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Union will speed up the authorization procedure for improved vaccines to respond to variants of the virus, Health Commissioner Stélla Kyriakídou announced on Sunday February 14. “We decided that a vaccine improved by a manufacturer to fight against new variants (…) will no longer need to go through all the authorization steps “, she told the German daily Augsburger Allgemeine (in German).
“It will therefore be faster to have suitable vaccines available, without reducing the safety criteria”, added the commissioner. The European Commission has been widely criticized for the slow start of vaccination campaigns against Covid-19 in EU countries, due both to certification procedures for the first vaccines deemed too long compared to the United Kingdom or in the United States, but also concerning vaccine orders.
Even though she admitted that she was not “satisfied” of the current situation, the Health Commissioner spoke out against criticism. “It is wrong to claim that we made only mistakes”she said, arguing that the EU had managed to secure the supply of 700 million doses of vaccine by the end of the third quarter of this year.