Kallas: Coronavirus vaccine manufacturers must fulfil obligations

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Kaja Kallas at the European Council virtual meeting on February 25, 2021. Source: Riigikantselei

Coronavirus vaccine manufacturers must fulfil their obligations and the EU needs to speed up vaccinations and coordinate restrictions, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said at a European Council video meeting on Thursday.

Speaking at the meeting alongside EU heads of government, Kallas said: "The epidemiological situation is of great concern to everyone, especially due to the spread of new, more contagious strains of the virus. We must continue to coordinate restrictions between member states and speed up the introduction of vaccines."

She said member states must not return to last spring's situation which temporarily suspended movement between countries and which caused great confusion.

The focus of the meeting was the EU's vaccination policy and Kallas reiterated that block's pre-purchase agreements, concluded by the European Commission on behalf of the member states with vaccine manufacturer, had been the best option.

"The agreements jointly negotiated by the EU have ensured equal access to vaccines for all member states, including small countries such as Estonia," she said.

"At the same time, it is crucial that vaccine manufacturers fulfill their obligations to Europe, and therefore we welcome all the Commission's activities that will help increase vaccine production capacity. We are ready to accelerate vaccinations in Estonia as soon as supplies increase," the prime minister said.

A statement said the Commission has worked to improve cooperation between pharmaceutical manufacturers, eliminate bottlenecks in supply chains and ensure the availability of materials. 

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Editor: Helen Wright

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