Saturday 3/6/21
CORONAVIRUS

EU Covid-19 deaths pass 400,000 as vaccine debate runs on

The vaccine strategy earned criticism, with lawmakers highlighting that they had been given only severely restricted access to one of the vaccine contracts, while not being able to see any other.
18 January 2021, France, Marseille: A man receives his first injection of the Pfizer/BioNtech coronavirus vaccine at the vaccination centre in the town hall. Photo: Denis Thaust/SOPA Images via ZUMA Wire/dpa
A man receives the Pfizer/BioNtech coronavirus vaccine at the vaccination centre in Marseille (France). Photo: Denis Thaust/dpa.

More than 400,000 people have died of Covid-19 in the European Union, European Commissioner for Health Stella Kyriakides said on Tuesday.

Addressing the European Parliament in a debate about the bloc's vaccine strategy, she said the past 10 months had been more difficult than "any of us could have imagined."

"But we have also turned the page, and begin 2021 with a powerful tool in the hand," she said, explaining that two vaccines had been approved in the EU, with more likely to follow.

But the EU's vaccine strategy also earned criticism, with European lawmakers highlighting that they had been given only severely restricted access to one of the vaccine contracts, while not being able to see any other.

Legislators were granted access to the contract with Curevac - a vaccine which has not been approved yet - in a reading room.

Censored information

But crucial information had been blacked out, liberal lawmaker Pascal Canfin said, adding that two of the contract's six paragraphs on liability, for example, had been censored.

"Crucial information is not available," he said.

Other parliamentarians echoed the sentiments, complaining that they were not allowed to talk to the public about the content of the contract.

Ahead of a virtual meeting between EU leaders on Thursday, the commission is expected to publish a paper on Tuesday, indicating that it anticipates 70% of the EU population to be vaccinated by the middle of the year.

Comments