European Parliament 2019-2024 Committee on Petitions 4.3.2022 NOTICE TO MEMBERS Subject: 1. Petition No 0630/2021 by C.A. (Greek) on the alleged failure of the European Commission to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic Summary of petition The petitioner complains about the inadequate management of the pandemic by the European Commission. According to him, its action focused on the vaccines, whereas there is a medicine against Covid-19. He refers to a TV interview of Vice President Schinas on 18/2/2021 in Deutsche Welle, where allegedly he admitted mistakes on behalf of the Commission. Therefore, he asks that the Commission assumes its collective political responsibility and that the process for its replacement is launched. 2. Admissibility Declared admissible on 10 December 2021. Information requested from Commission under Rule 227(6). 3. Commission reply, received on 4 March 2022 Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission has been coordinating a common European response to the health crisis, putting the health and safety of citizens first, but also using all tools available under its mandate to mitigate the impact on economies and societal life. Vaccination is essential in terms of preventing serious illness, hospitalisation and death from COVID-19, in terms of relieving the burden on healthcare systems and, eventually, in terms of getting back to normal life. In close collaboration with Member States, the Commission therefore developed the EU Strategy for COVID-19 vaccines 1, and large1 https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/coronavirus-response/public-health/eu-vaccines-strategy_en#euvaccines-strategy CM\1253292EN.docx EN PE730.160v01–00 United in diversity EN scale vaccination has been undertaken in Member States. In the context of the emergence and spread of the Omicron variant, Member States are currently offering booster doses to their populations to increase the protection provided by vaccines and, as stated in the most recent Rapid Risk Assessment from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, vaccination remains a key tool in achieving a necessary, multi-layered approach to COVID19, also comprising, for example, non-pharmaceutical interventions, increase of healthcare system preparedness and hospital surge capacity, testing and adequate risk communication to the public2. There are COVID-19 therapeutics available. The EU Strategy for COVID-19 Therapeutics 3 complements the EU Strategy for COVID-19 vaccines. In October 2021, the Commission published a list of 10 promising therapeutic products that have the potential to comprise the EU’s future therapeutic arsenal to fight COVID-19. By the end of January 2022, the Commission granted seven marketing authorisations for COVID-19 therapeutics for EU-wide use4. They include one oral antiviral (Lagevrio), three antiviral monoclonal antibodies (Xevudy, Ronapreve, Regkirona), an injectable antiviral Veklury (remdesivir) and two immunomodulators (RoActerma, Kineret). There are two more antiviral products in the assessment, Lagevrio (molnupiravir) for oral use and Evusheld (tixagevimab, cilgavimab) containing monoclonal antibodies. These therapeutics are intended for use across the different stages of COVID-19. While it is important to ensure that therapeutics are available for individuals who get infected and need treatment, vaccination is the strongest tool at our disposal to eventually end the pandemic. It is better to prevent than to cure, also in terms of cost-efficiency. Conclusion The Commission has responded with unprecedented force to the COVID-19 pandemic, focusing on vaccination as an essential public health measure. It invites the petitioner to find more information about the Commission’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the EU Strategy for COVID-19 vaccines, available at: Coronavirus response | European Commission (europa.eu). 2 Assessment of the further spread and potential impact of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant of concern in the EU/EEA, 19th update (europa.eu) 3 https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_21_2201 4 https://ec.europa.eu/health/documents/community-register/html/ PE730.160v01–00 EN 2/2 CM\1253292EN.docx

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