European Commissioner for health and food safety, Stella Kyriakides, said that no compromises on the safety of vaccines will be made, stressing that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will not be authorizing any coronavirus vaccine without a rigorous scientific evaluation.
Results from these evaluations are expected soon, she said, noting that a main priority is to make the vaccines immediately available upon authorization.
Kyriakides was addressing an online discussion on the “European Strategy for Vaccines” organised on Wednesday by Frederick University in Cyprus.
“Through our strategy we supported the efforts of many manufacturers to accelerate the development and availability of the vaccine within a period of 12-18 months” the European Commissioner said, adding that they are working tirelessly “in order to ensure that there are enough doses for Europe.”
As soon as a vaccine secures approval, it will be immediately available to citizens, she went on. “It is not vaccines, but vaccinations that save lives. Therefore, it is important that we are able to make vaccines immediately available, once they are approved,” the Commissioner added.
Responding to questions, Kyriakides referred in particular to actions aiming to secure the effectiveness and safety of the vaccine, and assured that EMA will not grant an approval without first conducting a thorough scientific evaluation.
“Approval procedures are strict and although we are moving fast, we are not going to compromise on issues regarding citizens’ safety,” Kyriakides stressed.