Germany and three other European Union countries are forming a new alliance aimed at gaining access to new coronavirus vaccines as soon as they develop, and to ensure that they are distributed fairly around the world, according to the Handelsblatt business newspaper.
According to Handelsblatt, German Finance Minister Jens Spann and his colleagues from France, Italy and the Netherlands wrote in a letter to the European Commission that access to vaccines is “one of the most pressing issues facing the European Union now.” Join”.
That is why a group of Member States has been formed “to achieve the fastest and best possible result in the negotiations with important players in the pharmaceutical industry”.
The four, who are taking the initiative in Berlin, want to prevent the EU from being left behind in the race with the US and China for a coronavirus vaccine, the newspaper said.
Attempts by US President Donald Trump to gain first access to candidate vaccines in exchange for a multibillion-dollar investment in pharmaceutical companies are being viewed with suspicion in Europe, Handelsblatt added.
The United States has secured nearly a third of the first 1 billion installments of AstraZeneca’s experimental vaccine for Covid-19, promising $ 1.2 billion as global powers compete for drugs that will allow them to restart their economies.
Handelsblatt cites government sources as saying that Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands are in talks with a number of pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca, about government research funds and market guarantees.
Europe needs to build a “purchasing power” to survive the competition for vaccines, government sources in Berlin said, according to Handelsblatt.
The four are also in talks with Britain, Norway, Singapore and Japan on possible co-operation.