Gallagher calls for worldwide approach in the approval of vaccines 

Published on: 03 March 2021

Fianna Fáil Senator Robbie Gallagher is calling for a worldwide approach in the approval of vaccines.   

Senator Gallagher commented, “The US government through the Food and Drug Administration, FDA, has authorised Johnson and Johnson’s single dose Covid 19 vaccine enabling millions more Americans to be vaccinated in the coming weeks and setting the vaccine up for additional approvals around the world including Europe.  

“Here in the EU, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) performs the same function as the FDA but we know it will take some weeks before this particular vaccine is given the green light.  

“We have heard many claims about a “slow vaccine rollout” when in fact the HSE has been getting the vaccine out as fast as supply allows.  

“We can look with some envy at the amount of vaccine already administered in the UK and in Northern Ireland, notwithstanding the fact that the UK death rate per capita is considerably more than double of the rate here. However, the fact remains that the UK had a head start with earlier approval of vaccines than the EU.”  

“It begs the legitimate question as to why the approval of vaccines is much slower for the EU.”  

Speaking in the Seanad, Senator Gallagher asked if there was a case for a worldwide approach to level the playing field. The Senator commented, “I would like us to use the World Health Organization, WHO, as a body that would act on behalf of all the world’s citizens, so we could have one group sign off on these vaccines rather than have everyone doing their own thing.”

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