On Wednesday, The European Commission asked the global leaders to co-operate to buy COVID-19 vaccines in bulk quantities to avoid ‘harmful competition’ in the race for a shot and to make sure any future vaccine is available for poor countries.
With around a dozen of new vaccines currently being tested on humans, rich countries have been scrambling to buy up doses from pharmaceutical firms in advance to ensure that they will have ample supplies if effective.
The European Commission, the EU executive arm, is worried that this will become a competition that would raise the prices of vaccines for everyone. These high-priced vaccines would keep many countries, especially the poor ones, to buy the supply.
On Wednesday, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said,
“When it comes to fighting a global pandemic, there is no place for ‘me first’.”
According to details, the EU is planning to spend around 2 billion euros on the advance purchase of COVID-19 vaccines on behalf of the 27 EU states.
Whereas Washington has made it very clear that it is prioritizing its own citizens for COVID-19 vaccines.
Von der Leyen said she is trying to convince “a large number” of world leaders to join forces and buy vaccines upfront together.
Next week, the EU is co-hosting a global virtual summit on vaccine strategy.
AstraZeneca, France’s Sanofi, and U.S. firms Pfizer, Novavax, Johnson & Johnson, and Moderna are among companies trialing vaccines against the coronavirus.