Policy Update

European Commission releases new EU vaccine strategy

The European Commission (EC) has released its proposal for an EU COVID-19 vaccine strategy. This strategy would enable the EC to jointly procure vaccines for all 27 EU countries, through advanced purchase agreements with producers manufacturing in the EU. The strategy aims to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and deployment of vaccines in the EU while avoiding competition among member states.
 
The strategy mentions global solidarity but lacks details on any specific provisions for equitable distribution outside of the EU. It does not explicitly state whether low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) could be included as a party to the agreements or whether a specific percentage of vaccine doses would be set aside for LMICs to purchase.

According to the strategy, the EU is ready to support global procurement processes, but how and when this would be done (e.g., through Gavi’s COVAX initiative or by creating a new mechanism) is unclear.
 
Communication - European Commission
 
Factsheet - European Commission
 
Press release - European Commission