“Appalling” EU vaccine waste shows its “one rule for the EU and another for everyone else”

“Appalling” EU vaccine waste shows its “one rule for the EU and another for everyone else”

Release date: 18 December 2023

Responding to news that the EU has discarded at least 215 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, Piotr Kolczyński, EU Health Policy Advisor at the People’s Vaccine Alliance and Oxfam, said:

“This is further proof that the EU wasted millions of its COVID-19 vaccines, hoarded early in the pandemic, as it locked poorer countries out of access. The appalling waste in the world’s pandemic response was disastrous. Handing exclusive rights to publicly-funded vaccines and medicines to just a few companies simply does not work – for rich countries or poorer ones. 

“The EU pumped unprecedented public funding into COVID-19 vaccines with no strings attached to ensure universal access. Yet, instead of learning from its mistakes, public funding conditionalities have been deleted from the draft Pandemic Agreement – and the EU is now trying to remove the remaining transparency and equity measures too. 

“Despite considering a significant reform to reign in pharmaceutical waste and profiteering within its borders, the EU fails to support similar efforts on the global stage. It is one rule for the EU and another for everyone else.”



This is a reaction to Politico’s analysis revealing that the EU has discarded between 215 million and 312 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, the equivalent of €4 billion euros: https://www.politico.eu/article/europe-bonfire-covid-vaccines-coronavirus-waste-europe-analysis/

The EU is arguing for one approach to access to medicines domestically and another internationally: https://genevahealthfiles.substack.com/p/the-eu-on-pandemic-prevention-preparedness

MEPs have expressed their concern about the EU’s negotiating position in a letter to the European Council and Commission: https://tillymetz.lu/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/MEPs-letter-EU-negotiating-position-on-the-WHO-Pandemic-Agreement301123.pdf

The EU’s latest proposed Pandemic Agreement text suggests removing transparency and equity measures: https://www.eeas.europa.eu/sites/default/files/documents/2023/EU%20drafting%20suggestions%20on%20Articles%204%20to%2019%20-%201%20Dec..pdf

Media contact

Joe Karp-Sawey, Senior Media Advisor, People’s Vaccine Alliance

Email: [email protected]