Lithuania donates 200,000 vaccine doses to Eastern Partnership countries

100,000 doses will go to Ukraine, 15,000 to Georgia, and 11,000 to Moldova by September.

Lithuania donates 200,000 vaccine doses to Eastern Partnership countries

Lithuania will donate 200,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines to countries in the Eastern Partnership group, its foreign ministry announced Friday.

By September, 100,000 vaccine doses will go to Ukraine, 15,000 to Georgia, and 11,000 to Moldova. The remainder hasn’t yet been decided but “will be considered in the near future,” the ministry said.

The Eastern Partnership group also includes Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus.

Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis also took the opportunity to draw attention to the Russia’s current involvement in and near Ukraine. “The country has tackled two challenges simultaneously: the pandemic and the Kremlin’s military aggression,” he said.

“Small step by [Lithuania], hopefully our partners in Europe will join in solidarity with many more!” added the foreign minister on Twitter.

The Lithuanian donation will “contribute to the Team Europe package,” reads the statement.

Later, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Twitter she welcomed the decision, adding that “the #EU stands by its friends and partners in the Eastern Partnership.”

The delivery comes as the debate over how Europe should handle its extra doses, and how it can best leverage them for diplomatic purposes, is still ongoing among capitals.

UPDATE: The story has been updated with Ursula von der Leyen’s response.

This article is part of POLITICO’s premium policy service: Pro Health Care. From drug pricing, EMA, vaccines, pharma and more, our specialized journalists keep you on top of the topics driving the health care policy agenda. Email pro@politico.eu for a complimentary trial.
Source : Politico EU More   

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WHO chief: Vaccination of kids a ‘moral catastrophe’ as health workers await jabs

The US and Canada have both authorized the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine for children as young as 12.

WHO chief: Vaccination of kids a ‘moral catastrophe’ as health workers await jabs

The world is now witnessing a “moral catastrophe” play out as children and adolescents are being vaccinated in some wealthy countries, while health care workers in poor nations go without, said the World Health Organization’s Executive Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on Friday.

“In a handful of rich countries which have bought up the majority of the vaccine supply, lower-risk groups are now being vaccinated,” he said. “I urge them to reconsider and to instead donate vaccines to COVAX.” 

Pointing to the fact that only 0.3 percent of vaccines are going to low-income countries, Tedros said that the supply in low- and lower-middle-income countries wasn’t even enough to immunize health workers, with hospitals being inundated with cases.

The U.S. and Canada have both authorized the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine for children as young as 12. However, on Thursday Kate O’Brien, director of the WHO’s department of immunization, vaccines and biologicals, said that just because a vaccine is authorized for children, doesn’t mean that countries should be prioritizing them. 

Vaccines are available for teenagers aged 16 and over across the U.S., with those aged 12 to 15 being able to get their jabs in some states already. A similar situation has played out in Canada’s provinces and territories, with vaccination appointments starting to be booked for children aged 12 to 15. 

Source : Politico EU More   

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