Sumary of The E.U. adopts a new strategy to counter future pandemics.:
- The European Union announced on Wednesday the creation of a new biomedical authority designed to better respond to future pandemics, as it seeks to avoid repeating the mistakes that plagued its early response to the coronavirus.
- Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, the bloc’s executive arm, also pledged to donate 200 million extra coronavirus vaccine doses to middle- and low-income countries by mid-2022, in addition to 250 million already promised by the end of the year.
- In her annual speech on the state of the union, Ms. von der Leyen described vaccination discrepancies as one of the greatest geopolitical issues facing nations.
- “The scale of injustice and the level of urgency are obvious,” Ms. von der Leyen told lawmakers at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, in eastern France, acknowledging that the bloc and other rich nations had fallen short on their promises.
- But the bloc’s pledges on vaccine donations have so far rung hollow: E.
- U. member countries had only donated 18 million doses as of early September, a fraction of the 200 million promised.
- Covax, the global vaccine-sharing program, of which the European Union is a part, last week slashed its forecast for doses available this year, in part because rich countries continued to hold most of the world’s doses.
- Still, Ms. von der Leyen’s speech served as a reset for the European Commission after early missteps in vaccine procurement that took a more positive turn in recent months.