EU working on mechanism for vaccines in Balkans and Africa

Bloc 'ready to play geopolitical role', Kyriakides

19 January, 13:58

    BRUSSELS - The EU is working on a mechanism to share vaccines with neighbouring and low-income countries in the western Balkans and Africa, EU commissioner Stella Kyriakides said Tuesday during a plenary session at the European Parliament.

    "We are working with member states to propose a European mechanism to share vaccines beyond our borders," she said, stressing that the mechanism would get vaccines to poorer countries "before COVAX is fully operational", referring to the global scheme co-led by the World Health Organisation set up last summer to ensure a fair distribution of COVID-19 shots across the world.

    Kyriakides said the EU vaccine-sharing scheme should prioritise health workers and most vulnerable people in the Western Balkans, North Africa and poorer Sub-Saharan African countries.

    She added that the EU could play a geopolitical role in the fight against the virus.

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