The production, availability and distribution of coronary vaccines were inevitably at the forefront of the debate when EU leaders began their video summit on Thursday.
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen announced fresh vaccine figures early in the meeting. According to them, about 88 million doses of corona vaccine have been delivered to EU countries so far, of which about 62 million have been given to vaccinees.
According to the Commission, the EU will receive a total of 100 million doses of vaccine between January and March, most of which, around 66 million, will be manufactured by Biontech and Pfizer. At the same time, the pharmaceutical company Astra Zeneca is supplying only 30 million doses to the EU, although the Commission expects the company to deliver 120 million doses.
Vaccine deliveries are expected to gain momentum as spring progresses and turns into summer. The Commission estimates that 360 million vaccines will be delivered to EU countries in the second quarter.
Leaders are expected to emphasize the importance of transparency
According to the Commission, 77 million doses of coronary vaccines manufactured in the EU have been exported worldwide since the beginning of December. The amount is therefore almost the same as what has been delivered to EU countries so far.
Efforts have been made to ensure the availability of vaccines in the EU by monitoring their exports. The European Commission on Wednesday announced temporary tightening of exports of coronary vaccines outside the Union.
The Commission wants the principles of reciprocity and proportionality to be considered when granting export authorizations for coronary vaccines. In practice, vaccine exports from the EU could be restricted, for example, to countries that produce vaccines themselves and are longer in vaccination than the EU.
According to the draft text seen by BTI, the directors are expected to state at their meeting that transparency and export monitoring are important. Pharmaceutical companies want to provide predictability in vaccine production and respect contracted schedules.
Finland has generally been cautious about tightening export restrictions and has wanted to avoid situations where strict restrictions could lead to friction in international vaccine production chains.
Tighter export restrictions have been estimated to have a potential impact on vaccine exports to Britain, for example. However, the EU Commission and the British government issued a joint statement on Wednesday night in which they emphasized that they were working for solutions that would benefit both parties.
Meeting guest from the United States
Leaders were also expected to discuss pandemic management, as the situation in Europe remains worrying. The summit has also been videotaped due to the disease situation, although initially the leaders had to meet face-to-face in Brussels for their two-day meeting.
Finland will be represented at the meeting by the Prime Minister Sanna Marin (sd).
President of the United States Joe Biden was expected to attend a video conference late Thursday night and leaders were scheduled to discuss the transatlantic relationship with him.
Source site www.is.fi