The discussion of vaccination issues against COVID-19 continues next Thursday morning before the Parliamentary Committee on Health.
Today, the Parliamentary Health Committee discussed, among other things, the status of Cyprus as an EU member state and the possibility of approval by the Pharmaceutical Services of the Republic of Cyprus against COVID-19 vaccines by third countries, following a proposal by MPs Pavlos Mylonas and Charalambos Pittokopitis. He was also informed about the implementation of the vaccination program for COVID-19 and about the possible health consequences of non-compliance with the schedules, following a proposal by MP Panikos Leonidou, while the vaccination program for children (except COVID- 19), following a proposal by the President of EDEK Marinos Sizopoulos.
The Head of the Delegation of the European Commission in Cyprus, Hierotheos Papadopoulos, in his position, answering questions from MPs, stated that there is no official data from either the World Health Organization or the European Medicines Agency, which certify these deaths that are circulating on the Internet .
“So, to tell the citizens, on the one hand, to get vaccinated, but on the other hand, you can get the vaccine and not wake up in the morning, I do not think it is right. We need to know and have this confidence that the vaccine is generally safe. A vaccine, which has received the approval of the European Medicines Agency “, he added.
Regarding the quantity of vaccines, Mr. Papadopoulos said that each country made its choice “and based on these choices we made the pre-purchases”.
“Not all countries have received from the same companies and for this reason it is logical that depending on the deliveries of each company, each country should receive the proportion that corresponds to it. That's the point. So, of course, deliveries are not made on the same day, they are not made at the same time, each company has its own times. “There was an overestimation by almost all the companies, but especially by AstraZeneca, in terms of production capacity, in terms of delivery capability and that, when the agreements were signed, was something that even the company itself did not know, possibly overestimated the possibilities.” write down.
As he said, “today we have a shortage, if you will, of vaccine ingredients. Various companies deal with this. The companies overestimated the production capacity, because in their history they never had to produce such quantities. “We are talking about hundreds of millions for all these companies.”
It is possible, continued Mr. Papadopoulos, a road race.
“We want to do this road race safely and of course we want it to be done as fast as possible. “No one said that these vaccines that we pre-ordered and financed and the development of the research but also the development of the production capacity of the companies, that all of them will be delivered in January, so that we have them ready”, he noted.
Answering a question, Mr. Papadopoulos said that a total of 2.6 billion doses of vaccines have been pre-purchased at the moment.
Regarding the Russian Sputnik vaccine, Mr. Papadopoulos said that there is a lot of misinformation, there is a lot of propaganda, adding that the truth is much simpler.
“Sputnik has not applied to the European Medicines Agency. There are many stories about millions of installments bought by the Germans, the Bulgarians. “In the EU, the only ones who have bought some doses of Sputnik at the moment are Hungary, at least certified, with the data they submit to the European Center for Disease Prevention.”
Regarding Israel, Mr. Papadopoulos said that Israel accepted something that the EU and no country accepts, to give all personal data to companies.
“When a license is given by the European Medicines Agency, the company continues to be responsible in case the vaccine does not work properly,” he noted.
He added that “the big issues we are facing today are the mutations of the virus plus the fact that there are vaccines that we do not know where they come from.”
“Various suppliers have even reached out to Heads of State and Government to propose vaccines. When we add up all that they have proposed, there are 400 million right now in the European market, who at least say suppliers can supply them, we do not know where they are from, we do not know their safety and that is where I would worry, but not about vaccines. which are circulating and which are safe by the European Medicines Agency “, he added.
Deputy Director of Pharmaceutical Services Elena Panagiotopoulou, in her own position, referred, among other things, to the legislation “Law on Medicines and Human Use”, which, as she said, clearly states that no pharmaceutical product can be marketed in the Republic of Cyprus. unless authorized by either the Medicines Council or the EU, with a positive opinion from the European Medicines Agency.
The drugs, he continued, which belong to the category of advanced technology and these vaccines belong to the category of advanced technology, they are licensed and evaluated only by the European Medicines Agency.
“Therefore, no Member State evaluates these medicines on its own. Neither Germany, nor Italy, nor Spain, nor Sweden, nor anyone. The evaluation of these drugs to be licensed was done centrally, it was done by the European Medicines Agency “, he added and then referred to the way of evaluation and licensing.
Answering a question, Ms. Panagiotopoulou said that no deaths have been reported or associated with the vaccination of the three licensed vaccines, namely BioNTech-Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca.
Deputy Director of Medical Services and Public Health Olga Kalakouta, in her own position, said, among other things, that the goal for vulnerable groups “is proportional to the flow of vaccines, which we have indications, should be completed by end of March to beginning of April “.
“We estimate that by the first ten days of March, the vaccination of those over the age of 70 will have been completed,” he noted.
The spokesman of OKYPY, Pampos Charilaou, for his part stated that OKYPY supports all the efforts of the Ministry of Health regarding the vaccination coverage of the population and added that “we will never refuse to offer our services to this project and we will not we will discuss it even where and where help is needed we will give this help, because what we have all realized is that if there are vaccines available, vaccinations should proceed quickly and as many people as possible should be vaccinated. “
“We are satisfied with the fact that in terms of Retirement Homes we have about 1.75% vaccination coverage for residents and staff and in addition, there is 1.70% for those over the age of 80,” he added.
The Chairman of the Health Committee of the Parliament, Costas Konstantinou, closing today's session of the Committee, said that next Thursday, at 10 am, he will continue the discussion of the issues related to vaccinations.
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