EU health ministers to discuss COVID-19 vaccines and availability of medicines at their informal meeting
The EU health ministers will convene for an informal videoconference organised by the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union on 12 October 2021. The topics on the agenda include COVID-19 vaccines, the availability of medicines, the EU’s preparedness for health emergencies and the strengthening of healthcare systems. Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Krista Kiuru will represent Finland at the conference.
The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn attention to challenges in the availability of medicines. Finland supports cooperation between the EU countries in procuring medicines and securing access to other necessary supplies. EU-level procurements may not, however, restrict national preparedness measures. It is particularly important to ensure that procurements critical to the security of supply can also be made at the national level.
Finland is strongly committed to vaccine solidarity and supports the availability of vaccines through COVAX, a global collaboration for ensuring equitable access to vaccines. Improving the availability of vaccines globally is essential for ending the COVID-19 pandemic. Promoting vaccination coverage in third countries also strengthens the EU’s health security and economy.
One of the key objectives of the new EU4Health Programme is to strengthen healthcare systems in case of epidemics and other long-term health threats. Finland considers it important that the new EU4Health Programme emphasises not only measures supporting comprehensive security, preparedness and crisis resilience, which have become increasingly important due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also the promotion of people’s health and wellbeing and the reduction of health gaps.
Reetta Honkanen, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 295 163 684, [email protected]