The race for Covid-19 vaccines is accelerating. In Europe, the European Commission has pre-ordered 1,800 million doses from five laboratories and is negotiating with the sixth Moderna, for a total of 2 billion doses. But the opacity in which these contracts are negotiated worries some MEPs who have been asking the committee for several weeks to make them public, in vain!
MEPs are putting the pressure on. Pascal Canfin, chairman of the Health Commission, believes that without transparency, citizens, worried about vaccination, will not be convinced.
“How can we imagine continuing to advance on this vaccine without knowing who is responsible for what in the event of side effects?”Pascal Canfin, MEP
In the event of a lack of a vaccine, it is the laboratories that will compensate the patients, insists the commission. It indicates that it has scrupulously followed the European rules in this area but without dwelling on the exception clauses. But there are, according to several sources. In the event of a fault “that the laboratory could not have known”, it will be up to the States to pay any compensation.
“Without certain guarantees, we would not have invested”, recognized during a parliamentary hearing Jean Stephenne, one of the leaders of the Curevac laboratory. “We are taking maximum risk in this matter! Industries must be protected if you want us to continue developing technologies!”, he said.
The opacity on the sums paid to laboratories to launch the production of vaccines even before their medical validation is also denounced. It is public money, drawn from the European emergency fund endowed with 2 billion euros. How much did we give and to whom? What will be the final invoice? “It is not in our interest to reveal to certain laboratories what we have negotiated with others”, answers the commission.