PRESIDENT of Spain’s Valencia has called for a ‘global response’ to the vaccine shortage
The head of the Valencian Community, Ximo Puig, has penned a letter to the president of the European Committee of the Regions, Apostolos Tzitzikostas, which also appeals to the European Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee, to ask for a “global approach” to find a solution to the current Covid vaccine shortage.
In his open letter, Mr Puig said that “as we have learned during this difficult year in which Europe has managed to rise to the challenge with an ambitious recovery plan, a global pandemic requires a global response. And that implies a universal vaccination. In this sense, patents cannot be an obstacle to the only way out of this pandemic: universal and rapid vaccination.”
Spain has faced much criticism in recent weeks for the slow pace of vaccination rollout, something which the Central Government hopes to remedy with the promise of more than one million AstraZeneca jabs from the start of April. The consignment, which was actually expected for next Monday but arrives today, will be distributed immediately. Everyone in the Spanish government agrees that the most urgent thing is to vaccinate as soon as possible and stop the rise that is already noticeable to avoid a fourth wave of illness and deaths.
However, Mr Puig has insisted that a “debate” must be opened sooner rather than later on vaccination patents; some solution must be found, he insisted, so that pharmaceutical companies can share their patents.
“Neither the market nor the bureaucracy can be an obstacle to science and health in the face of a global pandemic,” the president said. “It is not logical, nor efficient, that we have been able to develop several safe and effective vaccines in 11 months, and that – instead – we have the prospect that billions of people will have to wait several years to be vaccinated due to lack of production,” he wrote in his letter.