Today the ENVI committee welcomes Sandra Gallina, Deputy Director-General of DG Sante, to discuss the EU vaccine strategy for COVID-19 and the Vaccines Advance Purchase Agreements. On the agenda are the issues of developing a vaccine and coordinating its dissemination to guarantee equal access for all EU citizens.
IDF Europe believes that people living with diabetes should be among the groups prioritised for such a strategy. Not only do people living with non-communicable diseases account for more than three-quarters of deaths in Europe each year, but they are also particularly vulnerable to developing a severe form of COVID-19. Not to mention the additional shots and vaccines (annual flu shot, pneumonia shot, Hepatitis B vaccine) that people with diabetes are recommended to get to prevent them from developing viral infections, which are not covered by most national health services.
In order to develop an efficient vaccine strategy, it must be equally accessible and affordable across the EU and the cost of its implementation must not fall on the most vulnerable in our society.