5 EU nations call for debate on vax distribution

Brussels, March 14 (IANS) | Publish Date: 3/14/2021 1:34:41 PM IST

Leaders from five European Union (EU) nations have called for a debate on the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines in the bloc.

In a letter sent n Saturday to European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, the five EU leaders underscored the significance of European solidarity, which guarantees that all EU members, big and small, will have equal access to limited resources such as the Covid-19 vaccines, Xinhua news agency reported. The five leaders are Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, Latvian Prime Minister Arturs Krisjanis Karins and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa.

They also recalled the conclusions of the January 21 video conference of the members of the European Council, according to which the vaccines should be delivered simultaneously and should be distributed proportionately to the size of the population in the EU member countries. 

They believed that, if the principle of proportionality was not observed, it could lead to very big differences among the countries, with some being capable of reaching herd immunity in a matter of weeks, while others will fall behind significantly.

In response, the European Commission said in a statement on Saturday that the allocation of doses of vaccines under the Advance Purchase Agreements “has followed a transparent process”.

The Commission agreed with recent statements by several member states that the most equitable solution for the allocation of doses of vaccines is on the basis of a pro rata of population of each member state, said the statement.

This is the solution that the Commission proposed for all Advance Purchase Agreements.

It is a fair solution as the virus strikes equally everywhere, in all parts of the EU, it added

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