Covid-19 variants: state of play and impact on vaccination in the EU

17 Mar 2021 12:25 PM

Existing Covid-19 vaccines should be effective against the new variants, experts told MEPs on 15 March.

As part of Parliament’s continued close monitoring of the EU’s vaccination strategy, members of the environment and public health committee heard fromrepresentatives from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the European Medicines Agency and the World Health Organization on the efficacy of vaccines against mutations of the Covid-19 virus.

This was the latest in a string of hearings and events during which key players in the Covid-19 crisis are keeping MEPs updated on their work.

Three main variants in the EU

Dr Bruno Ciancio, head of surveillance at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, said there are currently three main variants of concern in the EU: the UK variant,  the South African variant and the Brazilian variant.

Given the current knowledge of the variants, he said the centre's models predict that the current measures and vaccination strategy rolled out by the EU will still be effective, but stressed the importance of countries keeping track of variants and their spread.

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