THE HAGUE, June 3 — France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands have forged an alliance to speed up the production of a vaccine “on European soil” against the new coronavirus, Dutch officials said today.
Four of Europe’s largest economies “are jointly exploring various promising initiatives and are in discussion with various pharmaceutical companies,” the Dutch Health Ministry announced.
The aim of the “Inclusive Vaccine Alliance” was to allow for vaccine production on European soil wherever possible, the department said in a statement issued in The Hague.
“Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands are convinced that a successful result requires a joint strategy and investments,” it said.
The announcement Wednesday comes as Europe slowly emerges from lockdowns with Italy leading the way as the first country on the continent to open its borders to European travellers.
Germany will lift its blanket travel warning on June 15, with the Netherlands likely to do the same in line with European Union guidelines.
“The alliance is exploring promising vaccine development initiatives to secure sufficient vaccines for the EU and other countries,” particularly lower-income states in Africa.
The four-country collaboration will enable “the fastest and best possible results with key players in the pharmaceutical industry about promising vaccine initiatives,” the Dutch Health Ministry said.
“The alliance also wants to agree with pharmaceutical companies that a vaccine must become widely accessible, available and affordable for the EU,” it added. — AFP