Access to vaccines must be better secured in crisis situations

30.06.21 | News
Vaccine
Photographer
Ricky John Molloy
The past year of the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that there is a need for the Nordic countries to develop and co-ordinate vaccination themselves, so that Nordic citizens are not dependent on unstable and inadequate supplies from distant places. The proposal has been put forward by the Nordic Green Left Alliance, and has been received positively by the Nordic Council's Committee for Welfare.

“We must make the Nordic region even more resilient to future pandemics and other health crises. The production of vaccines on our own home ground will contribute towards this,” says Bente Stein Mathisen, chair of the Nordic Council's Committee for Welfare. The Nordic Green Left Alliance, which is putting forward the proposal, recognises that the pharmaceutical manufacturers have made great strides in the development of the new vaccines against COVID-19. However, there is concern that supplies to the Nordic authorities could be challenged in a potential new pandemic. 

Action is needed in peacetime 

The Nordic Council's Committee for Welfare endorses the proposal that the Nordic governments should assess the possibilities of securing funding for vaccine research. Nordic vaccine research is already at a high level. In Finland, two promising COVID-19 vaccines are being developed and are in the testing phase. The expertise is thus certainly present, but there is a need for efforts in a Nordic coordinated context, with associated large-scale funding, says the Nordic Green Left Alliance. And this must be done in so-called "peacetime", when the Nordic countries and the rest of the world are not on their knees because of a pandemic.

 

We must make the Nordic region even more resilient to future pandemics and other health crises. The production of vaccines on our own home ground will contribute towards this  

Bente Stein Mathisen, chair of the Nordic Council's Committee for Welfare

Nordic production of new antibiotics 

The idea of the Nordic countries working together to develop new pharmaceutical products is far from new to the the Nordic Council's Committee for Welfare. The Committee has been pushing for a number of years for Nordic governments to take action on the production of new antibiotics.

“If the world is hit globally by bacteria that are resistant to the antibiotics we have on the shelves today, then we will have a health crisis of very frightening proportions on our hands,” says Bente Stein Mathisen, chair of the Committee. She and the Committee therefore welcome more Nordic co-operation and collaboration between the authorities and the industry on the production of vaccines and other medicinal products.