Gantar calls for more EU coordination on Covid-19 vaccine

Berlin/Ljubljana – Health Minister Tomaž Gantar attended a video conference with EU counterparts on Wednesday discussing the current state of the coronavirus pandemic and the proposed EU strategy for a coronavirus vaccine. He stressed more cooperation and coordination was need at the EU level.

The minister stressed that the right lessons should be drawn from the experience with the pandemic so far and that the weaknesses that had become apparent during the crisis should be addressed as soon as possible.

“It turned out we need more cooperation and coordination at the EU level. In a crisis, this is possible and efficient only if we are well prepared…” he said.

He believes it is crucial that appropriate structures and mechanisms with clear tasks and powers are set up both on the national and EU levels.

Slovenia supports an ambitious approach of the European Commission for the setting up of a stronger EU healthcare system, the Health Ministry said.

Emer Cooke, the head of the European Medicines Agency, presented the process of assessing Covid-19 vaccines to the ministers today. She said that all procedures were in line with the principles of science and independence and that the goal was to provide safe and efficient vaccines for citizens, the ministry said.

The agency said on Tuesday that a meeting would be held on 29 December at the latest to decide on an authorisation of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer.

A decision on the vaccine developed by the US company Moderna is expected on 12 January at the latest.

The ministers were also briefed by Andrea Ammon, the director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), on the state of the pandemic.

According to the ministry, the ECDC report shows that the situation in the EU is not under control yet and that great care was needed in easing the restrictions.

The ministers also discussed the EU health union, which includes a new legislative package to make the EU more efficient in tackling future health crises.