Twenty-one members of the European Parliament addressed the European Commission leadership with an open letter, to help EU’s eastern partners, including Georgia, get timely access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
In the January 22 letter, the MEPs expressed concern that the majority of the EaP countries “rely solely on the COVAX mechanism, which will not be enough for their populations to acquire a herd immunity.”
The MEPs called upon the EU Commission to prepare “a detailed plan” for the support of the EaP countries while highlighting the importance of vaccinating the frontline workers and high-risk groups.
The lawmakers stressed that the countries that will have to wait until Spring for the doses, can consider or already started using the Russian and Chinese vaccines, the effectiveness of which is questionable.
“The provision of these vaccines with no doubt will be used by Russia and China to boost their influence in the Eastern Partnership region and, as in previous cases, will undermine the much higher support of the EU,” the MEPs noted.
“We should do everything possible to achieve that the Eastern Partnership and Western Balkans countries develop a herd immunity at as similar time as possible to that of EU Member States,” the letter concluded.