"Effort is useless if the vaccine is not accessible to everyone"

The Spanish Medicines Agency assumes "within the rules of the game", as "expected", the emergence of the new omicron variant. This was explained by the director of the public body, María Jesús Lamas, in her appearance at the congressional investigation commission on the management of vaccination in Spain. The session -the first with speakers- has been marked by the absence of PP, Ciudadanos and Vox; and also because of the social concern generated by the new variant, about which in reality there is still not enough information. "Its relevance is still uncertain", has qualified Lamas.

Those vaccinated with three doses in rich countries outnumber the population with one in the poorest

Those vaccinated with three doses in rich countries outnumber the population with one in the poorest

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As the European Commission advanced over the weekend, the AEMS director stressed that the latest agreement signed with Pfizer and Moderna includes a commitment by pharmaceutical companies to adapt vaccines to new variants within 100 days. "We have put conditions on the companies," said the appearing party, who nevertheless has warned that, whether or not the vaccines work with the new variant, control of their expansion must be done "the same as with the original strain." . "Ventilated interiors, distance, masks", has listed. "Although we are approaching a normal life, we cannot forget that we are in a pandemic," he has settled.

The new variant has once again put on the table the realization that the exit from the pandemic can only be global. Lamas has warned, in this sense, that "the effort is of little use if we do not make vaccines accessible to any citizen of the world" and has placed as "the real challenge" today "to achieve universal and equitable access to vaccines" .

"It is urgent to accelerate global vaccination and this not only depends on the availability of vaccines", but on the medical resources to administer them, among other things, the AEMPS director has quoted. The data show the deep inequality in access: those vaccinated with three doses in rich countries outnumber the population with one in the poorest.

Lamas was followed by César Hernández, head of the Department of Medicines for Human Use of the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS). The second appearing party has given data for the first time on the number of clinical trials that have been requested in Spain for vaccines against COVID-19. So far there have been 26, of which 14 have been authorized. Of the rest, seven were denied for not being considered acceptable, in three the promoter gave up and in another four the request had to do with vaccines that were not specific against COVID and that would generate a "nonspecific immunity", has affirmed Hernández. 6,700 people have participated in these trials, according to the AEMPS.

The Spanish Medicines Agency continues on a "continuous watch". "We are moving in pandemic mode. Our evaluators are working tirelessly," Lamas said. In this regard, Hernández added, given the fear of a minimal part of the population due to the rapid authorization of vaccines against COVID-19, that "barriers have not been lowered in the processes, but resources have been redirected." "We have re-evaluated procedures that last 90 days to do them in a week."


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