Alfred Sant expresses doubts about transparency of EU strategy on COVID-19 vaccinations 

MEP Alfred Sant has said that the common EU approach on a strategy to assure the development of a COVID-19 vaccine, and the eventual immunisation of the population, was commendable and deserved across-the-board support.

However, he pointed out that many doubts remain about its implementation. Speaking during a plenary debate at the European Parliament, he said that complaints have arisen about the rhythm of deliveries of vaccines at a European level. Despite being major players in financing the development of a vaccine, EU countries are lagging behind in the organisation of the programme to administer the vaccine to their populations. 

There are also many questions which remain over the transparency of the whole process, especially how the deals were done and how they are being revised.

He questioned what constraints were allowed to pre-empt manufacture of the vaccine by a wider range of players in the market. He also asked whether it was a simple case of accepting that under free market rules, pharmaceutical companies needed to maintain exclusive rights on the production of vaccines.

Above all, he continued, in the current public health scenario world-wide, an anti-COVID vaccine cannot but be considered as a public good. Whether we like it or not, this is a war and if they are needed to secure the means to win the war, all private goods become public.

In conclusion he asked what the plan is for a timely worldwide distribution of the vaccines.