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Carolina Darias and the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, have made a joint call for vaccination

Friday 9 July 2021

Darias and Kyriakides discussed the development of the Vaccination Campaign, the fight against COVID-19, the European Strategy Against Cancer and the construction of the European Union for Health, among others. The meeting was also attended by the Director of the ISCIII, Raquel Yotti; the Director of the CNIO, Maria A. Blasco; and the Director of the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS), María Jesús Lamas.

The minister assured that Spain is a preferential ally of the European Union, especially in the construction of a European Health Union. "We have a Europe that has been able to identify as Europe in the face of the biggest health crisis," she said. Darias and Kyriakides have insisted in unison on the most important issue: "Vaccination, vaccination, vaccination", particularly for the youngest to not only protect them, but also others.

In this regard, Darias congratulated the Commissioner for the advance vaccine purchase strategy, while Kyriakides thanked both the ministry for health and the government for the support they have given to the European Union since the beginning of the pandemic, as well as in the presentation of the proposal for the European Health Union.

On the other hand, she stressed that the vaccination campaign in Spain is going "phenomenally" well, and highlighted the solidarity that our country is showing at a global level with vaccines.

Next milestone in the vaccination strategy

Carolina Darias stated that "vaccination process is going like clockwork" and that Spain leads, together with the rest of the European Union countries, the vaccination percentages. She recalled that 20 million Spaniards were vaccinated by 9 July and that it will be 25 million on 19 July. The objective, she reaffirmed, is to have 70% of the population vaccinated before the end of August.

The commissioner, for her part, shared the vaccination data of citizens of Member States: 65% have received the first dose and 47% have been fully vaccinated. "Things are going well, but we are facing a fragile situation: there is an increase in cases, mainly due to the Delta variant," she said.

Experimental Therapies Programme

The minister and the commissioner also visited the Experimental Therapies Programme at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO).

Its director, Joaquín Pastor, explained that this advanced programme carries out early stages of drug discovery in close collaboration with the centre's researchers. Coordinated projects involve the exploration and chemo-medical optimisation of initial prototypes (hits) up to advanced leaders. Those products with optimal properties are subject to licensing and collaboration agreements with the pharmaceutical industry for further development and study in clinical phases.

Darias said that Spain has just approved the update of the cancer strategy in line with the European Cancer Plan. The commissioner said that this plan is a crucial issue and that these patients have had more difficult access to monitoring, testing and treatment during the pandemic, which has made them vulnerable. She also stated that the work carried out by the CNIO in research and innovation is "excellent" and congratulated and thanked all its employees.

Non official translation