Given the huge societal and economic impacts of the coronavirus in Europe, everyone is hopeful that COVID-19 vaccines will soon be available – but what happens next?
According to an Economist report from August 2018, in the past decade vaccination rates in some European countries have often fallen below those in parts of Africa. It claims that Italy, France and Serbia have lower child-vaccination rates than Burundi, Rwanda and Senegal.
After billions of Euros have been invested by governments, what will happen if many EU citizens are unwilling to take the vaccine? What can be done now to ensure that those who need the COVID-19 vaccine most are treated first when the vaccines are available?
Furthermore, how do EU member states plan on measuring and monitoring the safety of vaccines that have been rapidly put onto the market ̶ and who will ultimately be accountable? And from the patient’s perspective, how can we build trust around the EU’s management of COVID-19, which has become increasingly politicised?