The European Union has enough vaccines approved and in production to cover its needs, and does not expect newly authorized ones to enter the market before 2022, EU Commissioner Thierry Breton said on Friday.
“My message is that we don’t need a new vaccine, we have already four vaccines approved. We are the only continent with so many vaccines now approved and in production, the only one. We will have soon a fifth one, we expect this maybe end of May-June,” he told the press during the visit to a medical laboratory in Spain.
According to the commissioner, it will take from ten months to a year for any new vaccine now under review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), including Russia’s Sputnik V, to get from the authorization to the rollout stage.
“Today, our main objective is to make sure that within the next four-five months, we get all the doses that have been already ordered and are in the process of being manufactured,” Breton noted.
On Wednesday, the Commission proposed tougher vaccine export controls to ensure that this goal is achievable and all manufacturers, especially AstraZeneca, follow through with their EU commitments.
“We will make sure that everything stays in Europe until the company [AstraZeneca] will come back to its commitments, and this is why we have this instrument that the president of the Commission yesterday again put in place to make sure that we control and that we don’t have any leakage,” he added.
Earlier on Sunday, Breton announced that the EU has “absolutely no need” for Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine. The claims have since received harsh criticism from European lawmakers amid rising AstraZeneca safety concerns and rollout suspensions as well as vaccine shipment shortfalls.
On Friday, the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed hopes that the commissioner’s stance on Sputnik V will not affect the procedure of vaccine authorization for the EU market.