The European Commission has agreed, through its Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA), a contract with the pharmaceutical company GSK to make joint purchases of 85 million doses of its Adjupanrix vaccine against pandemic flu . Twelve Member States and other countries will participate in the operation, which will distribute the sera according to their needs with the aim of avoiding another pandemic.
With this decision, the Commission commits to building a stronger and more active European Health Union that is ready and able to respond to new threats to health. “Preparedness is essential in a health emergency. Today we have secured up to 85 million doses of pandemic flu vaccines through our Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority, in order to protect our population in the event of a such an emergency occurs in the future. This is the real European Health Union in action”, explains the Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides.
This has not been the only measure that HERA has taken in recent days. To this Thursday’s decision we must add the efforts dedicated to the acquisition of vaccines against monkeypox to distribute them throughout the Member States. The Ministry of Health has explained that 7,000 sera will arrive in Spain next week , which, if added to the 5,000 it already has, will reach the figure of 12,000.
Europe will seek to prevent another pandemic from occurring . The institutions of the European Union, together with the countries that have adhered to the Joint Procurement Agreement, will be able to participate in a joint procurement procedure for vaccines, antivirals and medical countermeasures against the most serious global threats to health.
The aim of joint purchases is to ensure more equitable access to specific medical countermeasures and to improve security of supply , as well as more balanced prices for EU countries. The new HERA will continue to work closely with participating countries to determine and implement priorities for joint procurement.
An influenza pandemic is an epidemic caused by a new strain of influenza to which the population has little or no immunity. According to the European Medicines Agency (EMA), this type of flu occurs at intervals ranging from less than 10 years to several decades . It spreads rapidly around the world and its signs are similar to those of the common flu, but can be more severe.