THE European Union has announced it has created a group to help detect new Covid strains and protect against them.
The EU said the European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) will work globally to detect new Covid strains and help develop vaccines against them.
According to media reports, the body will be able to provide incentives to develop new and adapted vaccines, as well as helping to speed up the approval process and increasing manufacturing capabilities.
European Commision President Urusula von der Leyen said: “New variants of the virus are emerging fast and we must adapt our response even faster.”
She said the group would also create a plan that would help the EU tackle any future pandemics.
Margaritis Schinas, European Commission Vice President, said the EU is, “tackling parallel or subsequent series of pandemics deriving from the variants.”
It is expected the EU will spend $90 million (€74.61 million) on detecting, analysing, and assessing virus strains by supporting genomic sequencing in its member states, and a further $181 million (€150 million) on improving research and data exchange on different strains.
According to media reports, the EU has also put in place mechanisms to improve clinical trials and increase the production of COVID-19 vaccines.
The European Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority is now preparing to get to work, and it is expected that the body will now be a permanent authority for creating risk modelling, global surveillance, technology transfers, supply chain risk mapping, flexible manufacturing, and vaccine and medicine research and development.
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