Key to effectively addressing the Covid-19 pandemic is finding a vaccine that will be accessible to all, said EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides during the digital Delphi Economic Forum 2020 this week.
In this direction, Kyriakides said she has since the outbreak of Covid-19 been working closely with all member states and pharmaceutical companies. At the same time, the European Commission has increased health spending to 9.8 billion euros, while the European Investment Bank (EIB) has allocated 75 million euros since the beginning of May.
“The vaccine is our top priority. Europe needs a better public health system. European citizens expect us to play a more active role in this key issue – We need more Europe in the area of public health,” said Kyriakides.
The commissioner referred to the imminent “recession” which will result from the coronavirus outbreak and how the deadly virus uncovered the weaknesses in the EU’s health systems. “But we cannot get out of the economic crisis unless we first get out of the health sector crisis safely,” she said.
“The pandemic is not over,” Kyriakides warned. “Public health is our main priority, we cannot relax the measures and risk what we have achieved so far.”
At the same time, she added that restarting the economy was of vital importance. That is why relevant guidelines were presented on 13 May as part of the EU’s efforts to help “open up tourism and transport, always adhering to the basic rules of prevention and protection”, she said.
In view of the 7 million Covid-19 cases globally and 404,396 deaths, world leaders and health experts are calling for international cooperation and coordinated efforts towards vaccine research and development.