EU to set up mechanism for rapid access to vaccines, with particular attention to the Western Balkans

EU to set up mechanism for rapid access to vaccines, with particular attention to the Western Balkans

The European Commission is expected to set up a mechanism for structuring the supply of vaccines shared by Member States, with particular attention to the Western Balkans and its neighbours.

The news was announced by EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Oliver Varhelyi after yesterday’s meeting where they discussed measures to speed up vaccination in the EU to combat the pandemic.

“To ensure a united front to defeat COVID-19 and timely access to vaccines, the European Commission will set up a mechanism for structuring the delivery of vaccines shared by Member States, with particular attention to the Western Balkans and its neighbors», wrote Varhelyi on his personal Twitter account.

“Further options for the timely delivery of vaccines will be considered”, he added.

According to the press release, the European Commission, in order to ensure timely access to vaccines, will set up the “Europe Group” mechanism for the structure of vaccine delivery shared by Member States with partner countries.

This mechanism will allow partner countries to share access to part of the 2.3 billion doses secured through the EU vaccine strategy, with a particular focus on the Western Balkans, eastern and southern neighbours and Africa.

The European Commission and the Member States should continue to support the COVAX mechanism, inter alia, through timely access to vaccines. Group Europe has already mobilized EUR 853 million to support COVAX, making the EU one of COVAX ‘s largest donors.

According to the press release, during the meeting, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen stressed that vaccination is necessary to get out of this crisis.

“Vaccination is necessary to get out of this crisis. We have already provided adequate vaccines for the entire population of the European Union. We must now speed up delivery and speed up vaccination. Our goal is to have 70% of our adult population vaccinated by summer. This could be a turning point in the fight against this virus. However, we will only end this pandemic when everyone in the world has access to vaccines. We will step up our efforts to help provide vaccines for our neighbours and partners around the world”./ibna