COVID-19 vaccines: Public Health Committee MEPs to quiz Commission

©European Union, 2021, Source: EP – Multimedia Centre©European Union, 2021, Source: EP – Multimedia Centre

The EU’s lead negotiator on COVID-19 vaccines contracts, Sandra Gallina, will update MEPs on the latest developments concerning COVID-19 vaccines, on Tuesday at 9 am.

This will be followed by a Q&A session, where MEPs from the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety will quiz her on issues such as the EU’s procedure to approve the vaccines, what stage of the review process various vaccines have reached as well as the quantities bought by the EU.

At the Plenary session in December 2020, Parliament expressed support for speedy authorisation of safe vaccines. The Commission has since given conditional marketing authorisation for two COVID-19 vaccines, one developed by BioNTech and Pfizer and one by Moderna Biotech Spain, S.L. after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) concluded its assessments of these vaccines. On 8 January 2021, the Commission proposed purchasing up to 300 million additional doses of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine, bringing the total doses secured from the most promising vaccine candidates for Europe and its neighbourhood to 2.3 billion through advance purchase agreements with several pharmaceutical laboratories.

You can follow the committee meeting live here from 9 am on Tuesday 12 January.


Developing and deploying an effective and safe vaccine worldwide is likely to be the only way to end the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Commission already proposed an EU vaccines strategy for COVID-19 in June 2020 in which it listed key steps for effective vaccination strategies and vaccine deployment.

Any vaccine must be authorised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in accordance with safety and efficacy standards.

On 22 September 2020, Parliament held a public hearing on “How to secure access to COVID-19 vaccines for EU citizens: clinical trials, production and distribution challenges”.