Greek Finance Minister Christos Staikouras stated on Thursday that the country has put funding in place to cover the costs associated with the coronavirus vaccine once it becomes available, potentially at the end of this year.
Earlier on Thursday, the UK-based AstraZeneca pharmaceutical giant had announced that, in accordance with the stipulations of a new agreement with the EU, it would be able to produce up to 400 million doses of the heralded vaccine, dubbed “AZD1222,” which is now undergoing the last phase of four stages of trials.
The new vaccine pact between AstraZeneca and the EU was drawn up under the guidelines for the existing agreement, called the “European Alliance for Exclusive Vaccines.”
The first on the continent to benefit from the Oxford University-created vaccine will be all the member states of the EU, but the firm will also be allowed to distribute doses to all other countries in Europe as well.
The AstraZeneca statement stresses that the firm will make no profit whatsoever on the vaccine, and the distribution will take place in proportion to the population of the nations.
As they had noted in an earlier press release, and Vassilis Kikilias, the Greek Minister of Heath, had stated, the vaccine will not be ready before the end of this year.
The CEO of AstraZeneca, Pascal Sorio, stated “This first agreement with the European Commission will ensure that millions of Europeans will have access to the AZD1222 vaccine as soon as it is approved. With production in our European supply chain expected to start soon, we hope to make the vaccine widely available and quickly, with the first installments scheduled for delivery by the end of 2020.
In an interview with Greece’s Skai television, Finance Minister Staikouras stated that the country had already arranged for the funding and that he does not foresee any citizen having to pay to be vaccinated.
“If necessary, the Ministry of Finance is ready to assist in this direction,” he added.
Greece’s Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias had said earlier this week that the country had already arranged for the acceptance of three million doses of the vaccine. However, nothing can happen until it is approved after undergoing the last stage, called phase four, of its clinical trials.