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COVID19: Cyprus intervenes over updated jab distribution

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An agreement with pharmaceutical companies to always distribute the COVID-19 vaccine in its updated form was achieved during the informal EU Health Ministers’ meeting in the Czech Republic.

The deal was sealed after an intervention by the Health Ministers of Cyprus and Greece, Michalis Hadjipantela and Thanos Plevri.

An official statement said that after the intervention of the two ministers, an agreement was reached with the pharmaceutical firms so that when new vaccines are licensed and have increased effectiveness on the new COVID-19 variants, any subsequent deliveries will concern the updated vaccines.

After Hadjipantela’s proposal, any EU member states that have reduced needs for vaccines in 2023 will be able to transfer into the following year their share of vaccines.

The Cypriot minister also informed the plenary of the council on Cyprus’ intention to establish a WHO Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe) that will deal with infectious diseases.

The meeting was divided into several thematic blocks, focusing on the Czech Presidency’s priorities in the healthcare field.

The main topics were European assistance to the Ukrainian health system, vaccination and vaccine hesitancy, the fight against cancer, and the conclusions of the Oncology Conference hosted in July by the Czech Presidency.

Regarding the repercussions of the war in Ukraine, the ministers concentrated on preparing a thorough and effective plan to reconstruct the Ukrainian health system.

Regarding Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan, Hadjipantela paid tribute to the significant work carried out by Cypriot Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides and said Europe should be a pioneer in research and technology in Health.

He said an example was the innovative radiotherapy equipment currently developed in Finland.