The European Union’s closest neighbors, including countries in the Balkans and those that have special trading relationships with the bloc like Norway and Switzerland, will need authorization to import Covid vaccines from the EU under a proposal to be unveiled on Wednesday.
The plan, which will be made public in Brussels around midday, seeks to strengthen the EU’s existing export rules by insisting that nations that receive doses from the EU also send doses back. It will also consider a country’s vaccination rate and pandemic situation when deciding on whether to green light shipments. The mechanism won’t be automatic, but will be used on a case-by-case basis, according to officials familiar with the proposal.
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In 2015, Genmab partnered with relatively unknown biotech firm Biontech. Reflecting on how far Genmab has come since, CEO Jan van de Winkel is still confident that partnerships, rather than acquisitions, are the way forward. If it had acquired Biontech at the time, the CEO speculates Genmab may have put a stop to other activities – including the Covid-19 vaccine efforts that went on to save millions of lives. This and fairness are worth remembering as biotech firms are increasingly strapped for cash, van de Winkel reflects.