Covid-19: EU launches Hera program to speed up vaccination

The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, during a press conference in Brussels, February 17, 2021. AP - Aris Oikonomou

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3 min

The European Commission launched this Wednesday, February 17, its Hera Incubator program, a rapid reaction health agency to combat the slowness of vaccination campaigns and deal with new variants of Covid-19.

In addition, the EU announced on Wednesday February 17 an agreement to buy 300 million additional doses of the Moderna vaccine against Covid-19.


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With our correspondent in Brussels,

Pierre Benazet

The European response to the slowness of the vaccination campaign now has two axes.

The first with the European rapid reaction program, Hera Incubator, for research, certification and production, this project will be endowed with 75 million euros.

Some 150 million additional euros will be committed to strengthen research.

In addition, the European Commission always uses the instruments already in place.

Brussels has also just announced the order for 150 million additional doses of the Moderna vaccine.

This corresponds to a firm order of 150 million doses for the second half of 2021. In addition, 150 million other doses are in pre-order for 2022, which potentially brings the total of orders to Moderna to 460 million doses.

In total, 2.6 billion doses were ordered by the EU from the six laboratories it chose, selected after a long selection process (in addition to Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca, the Commission has also signed contracts with Sanofi / GSK, Curevac and Johnson & Johnson).

They constitute what the Commission calls the “European vaccine portfolio”.

Of the 160 candidates for potential vaccines studied by Europeans, three have so far been selected.


Read also: Covid-19: vaccinations in the EU, between new orders and delivery delays

Go as fast as science

There could be many more orders through the Hera program, which is actually supposed to speed up the production of all vaccines.

A real concern in the face of the industry's difficulties in moving fast enough to keep up with the advances in science, which discovered vaccines much faster than usual.

According to the Commission, it is therefore necessary to help laboratories to create and adapt industrial sites.


Read also: Covid-19: the European Union wants to boost vaccine production


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  • European Union

  • Vaccines

  • Ursula von der Leyen

  • Coronavirus

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