The European Union has denied reports that its bloc-wide vaccination program against Covid-19 is falling apart, adding that the European Medicines Agency ensures the efficacy and safety of the inoculation strategy.
Speaking on Tuesday, European Commission spokesman Stefan de Keersmaecker said that individual countries have the right to seek their own vaccine procurement contracts but claimed the EU strategy was still going to plan.
“It’s not that the strategy unravelled,” de Keersmaecker told reporters but claimed that emergency authorizations of new Covid-19 vaccines by particular member states was riskier than the EU’s approach.
“For our vaccines, we go through the European Medicines Agency because we want to ensure efficacy and safety. What member states do in addition to that, it’s their responsibility,” he noted.
Earlier on Tuesday, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced plans to break away from the EU’s joint vaccine procurement program in order to create a second-generation Covid-19 vaccine and explore treatment options for the virus.
The members of the ‘First Mover’ group, Austria and Denmark, “will no longer rely on the EU in the future and will work with Israel in the coming years to produce second-generation vaccine doses for further coronavirus mutations and to jointly research treatment options,” Kurz said ahead of his trip to Israel.
Hungary has also gone its own way, approving vaccines from both Russia and China. On Sunday, the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán was inoculated against the virus using the Chinese-made Sinopharm jab.
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