Germany builds an alliance with 3 states re: vaccine; "One of the most urgent issues"
The goal is to ensure that they are fairly distributed around the world, the business daily "Handelsblatt" reported.
The paper quoted German Health Minister Jens Spahn and his colleagues from France, Italy and the Netherlands, who stated in a letter to the European Commission that access to vaccines is one of the most urgent issues that the European Union must deal with at the moment, Reuters reported. Therefore, this group of countries is engaged to achieve the fastest and best possible outcome in negotiations with key actors in the pharmaceutical industry.
The four countries, which are acting on the initiative of Berlin, want to prevent the EU from losing in the race for the vaccine from the USA and China, the paper reported.
US President Donald Trump's efforts to be the first to gain access to vaccine inventors in exchange for billions of dollars invested in pharmaceutical companies are viewed with suspicion in Europe, Handelsblatt added.
The United States provided almost a third of the first billion doses of experimental vaccines for COVID-19 AstraZeneca, promising up to 1.2 billion dollars.
Handelsblatt quoted government sources as saying that Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands had talked to several pharmaceutical companies, including AstraZeneca, about state research funds and purchase guarantees.
Europe must build market power to survive the fight for vaccines, the paper quoted government sources in Berlin.
The four EU member states also discussed possible co-operation with Britain, Norway, Singapore and Japan.