The European Parliament continues to push for faster vaccination efforts across Europe. On 25 February, a hearing of the joint Health and Industry Committees of the European Parliament was held, together with European Commissioners Stella Kyriakides, Thierry Breton and CEOs from the seven pharmaceutical companies that are currently producing vaccines for use in the European Union or soon will be.
All speakers stressed the unprecedented speed at which COVID-19 vaccines were developed, but also highlighted the difficulties faced in mass production and logistics across Europe and beyond.
Pascal Canfin MEP, European Parliament ENVI Committee Chair, said: "This hearing between MEPs and the CEOs of vaccine producers was a world first. We need to engage with CEOs in the pharmaceutical industry to debate solutions on how to produce more vaccines in Europe, and to know whether they are on track to deliver on their commitments."
The support for the EU framework for negotiations, authorisations and coordination of additional production was broadly shared among speakers. Renew Europe ITRE Committee Coordinator Martina Dlabajová MEP (ANO, CZ) underlined the need for more transparency of contracts, deliveries and effectiveness of vaccines, stating: "Our citizens need a transparent framework to trust the vaccination process. They deserve clear explanations over the supply outages we are facing today. We need a clear signal that a strong cooperation among the European Commission, national authorities, multinationals and even smaller companies will overcome bottlenecks in supply. We are all partners, and we are facing this challenge together."