EU has questions about vaccine supply, draws up list of recognized rapid tests | NOW



EU leaders are full of questions about the supply of corona vaccines. At their corona video meeting Thursday evening, they are looking for ways to quickly vaccinate more people, now that even more contagious virus variants are emerging.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his colleagues have “many questions about the transparency and planning of the deliveries of the various vaccines,” said an EU source.

The message from Pfizer, the manufacturer of the first vaccine to be used in the EU, that supplies will be somewhat delayed in the coming weeks, raised serious concern in many EU countries last week.

Governments want to know what they can count on. This is necessary, for example, to decide whether they should keep doses on hand in order to be able to administer the necessary second injection to vaccinated people, or whether they can use it for new groups.

Rapid test valid throughout Europe Union

The results of a corona test will soon be valid throughout the European Union. This applies to both a rapid test and the familiar, so-called PCR test. Provided the test is approved for use and the result has been determined by an official health authority, the EU countries have agreed.

The expectations of the rapid antigen tests, which show within half an hour whether you have the corona virus, are high. According to the European Commission, they can be a useful addition to the PCR tests. They are even more reliable, but they have to go to the laboratory and that takes time.

Tests must be able to withstand new variants

The EU countries are going to draw up a list of recognized rapid tests, they have unanimously agreed. That list must remain resistant to the emergence of new virus variants. Tests that do not recognize such a mutant will be discarded, and new more stringent tests can be added, is the intention.

Member States also determine when such a test could be used. For example for people who have been in contact with infected people, or in the event of an outbreak in a nursing home or school.

Recognition of each other’s corona tests is “essential to enable border traffic and the detection of infected persons across national borders,” say Member States. The Netherlands, for example, requires a negative rapid test result from air and boat travelers.

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