Sanchez pushes Latin America and the Caribbean to produce vaccines locally

President's News - 2022.6.22

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Brussels (Belgium)

The President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, together with the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, presented in Brussels a 'Team Europe Initiative' promoted and supported by Spain on vaccine production and the resilience of health systems in Latin America and the Caribbean. The initiative, in collaboration with Germany and Portugal, financial institutions and regional organisations, aims to achieve universal access to vaccines in the region by decentralising vaccine production and strengthening public health.

The President of the Government of Spain reaffirmed that "The war in Ukraine shows us that not everyone shares our values and principles. Therefore, we must walk together with other regions with which we do share them, and do so hand in hand, using our commonality as a global transformative potential".

Promoted by Spain, the project arose from the start of the dialogue between the European Commission and the regional health bodies on their own needs, and from the joint analysis of the projects already identified.

Spain, a country committed to universal access to vaccines

"Only two years ago, Europe was beginning to emerge from the first brutal confinement caused by COVID-19. But it was not only Europe that suffered: other regions of the world were hit hard by successive waves of this cruel virus. One of the hardest hit regions was Latin America and the Caribbean," Sánchez recalled.

The Spanish government, aware of the situation, supported this region from the beginning, committed to universal access to the vaccine and pledged to donate vaccines. Since then, Spain has donated more than 21 million vaccines to Latin America and the Caribbean, and overall has earmarked 182 million euros as our country's contribution to fighting the pandemic.

Foto: Pool Moncloa / Fernando Calvo

Sánchez stressed that the initiative is an expression of the importance of the lessons learned during the more than two years of the pandemic: universal access to safe and effective vaccines is best ensured through decentralisation of vaccine production and through the strength of countries' health systems and public health. For this reason, the project is articulated around three axes: technology transfer and research and development at all stages of the production chain, exchange of experiences at the regulatory level, and mobilisation of private sector investment in the region.

This project, coordinated by the Secretary of State for International Cooperation, involves the Spanish Centre for the Development of Industrial Health (CDTI) and the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products.

The President of the Government of Spain concluded his speech by thanking Von der Leyen for her support in fostering relations between the EU and its partners in this important region. For this reason, Sanchez stressed: "The initiative we are launching today is Europe being aware of the needs of Latin America and the Caribbean and an example of the European Union's willingness to renew the way it engages with the region".

'Clara Campoamor' building of the European Parliament

Foto: Pool Moncloa / Fernando Calvo

The President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, has met with the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, on the occasion of the naming ceremony of the 'Clara Campoamor' building at the European Parliament's headquarters in Brussels.

Sánchez highlighted "the essential leadership of women, who strengthen the European Union and our democracies, especially in the most complex and uncertain times". He specifically warned that, a century after Clara Campoamor defended women's right to vote, some of their rights are being questioned by different political forces or, directly, are not recognised as a priority in democracy.

"No country in Europe can afford to erase the women who, through feminism and with their own lives, have done so much for equality and progress," said the president.

Non official translation