Today (10 February), MEPs will debate the European Vaccination Strategy with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. The Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament are calling for global and equitable access to vaccines, a massive increase and government support for vaccine production, a European containment strategy, temporary lifting of patent rights, disclosure of contracts with vaccine manufacturers and systematic EU-wide procedures for testing for mutations of the virus.
Ska Keller MEP, President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, comments:
"The Greens/EFA group stand behind a common European approach to vaccine procurement. The investment in vaccine production must now be ramped up by a lot to save lives and avoid the tremendous costs of lockdowns. Intellectual property should not stand in the way of ensuring a quick and equal global distribution. The European Commission should work towards a temporary lifting of patent rights to allow more manufacturers to produce vaccines.
"No one is protected from the coronavirus until everyone is protected. We cannot let this virus deepen global injustices and we must take responsibility and show solidarity. We need globally equitable access to vaccines because no region of the world should be left behind while rich countries are buying up vaccine doses. The faster vaccination moves forward globally, the faster we will reduce global death rates and get the pandemic under control.
Philippe Lamberts MEP, President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament, comments:
"Citizens have a right to know what the terms of vaccine contracts are. We call on Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to fully disclose the contracts with manufacturers. MEPs' access to redacted contracts is no substitute for proper in depth democratic oversight. We need a comprehensive European containment strategy. The guiding principles to get us to low case numbers must be testing, tracing and isolating. We should work to prevent further border closures between EU countries. Common cross-border uniform measures can prevent an intra-EU race of relaxations and lockdowns.
"We need more public investment in the expansion of vaccine production capacities. More information on the distribution and characteristics of mutations can limit the rapid spread of new virus variants. We call for systematic, Europe-wide screening procedures for the detection and examination of mutants as well as a seamless exchange of data. Together we will succeed in stopping the pandemic."
The debate will be take place from around 09:00am. You can follow the debate live here.