For the EPP Group, it is imperative that as many Europeans as possible are vaccinated against COVID-19 as quickly as possible. "Even though there is still room for improvement when it comes to the vaccine rollout across Europe, we must not engage in the blame game. Now it is important to step up and vaccinate as many Europeans as possible, as soon as possible", say Esther de Lange MEP, Vice-Chairwoman of the EPP Group in charge of Economy and Environment, and Peter Liese MEP, the EPP Group's Spokesman for Health, ahead of a debate in the European Parliament on the EU's vaccination strategy.
De Lange and Liese also call for greater efforts to fight vaccine scepticism. "We must defend science and an evidence-based approach towards vaccination. Everyone is free to raise concerns, but we should have a zero tolerance approach to targeted disinformation campaigns about vaccines."
"Only one year after the outbreak of the Coronavirus, European researchers have come up with safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19. Two vaccines are being rolled out, most likely three other vaccines will be approved soon. We must recognise this as a great success. It would not have been possible without the EU's financial investment in the research and development of those vaccines", noted Liese.
De Lange stressed that there has never been an alternative to acquiring vaccines jointly in the European Union: "If every Member State were to buy vaccines on their own, this would have increased prices, triggered rivalry and amplified inequalities between countries. Securing enough vaccines for all European citizens in advance was how the European Union literally helped save lives", she concluded.
The EPP Group is the largest political group in the European Parliament with 187 Members from all EU Member States