Coordinated action in the fight against COVID-19 a priority for the Portuguese Presidency

Source: Portuguese presidency of the EU i, published on Monday, March 1 2021.

The Minister for Health, Marta Temido, today guaranteed that the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union will continue to make the joint response to the pandemic one of its priorities. “As Minister for Health, I want to assure you that the Portuguese Presidency will make the fight against COVID-19 a priority”, Marta Temido said this Monday morning before the informal meeting of Health Ministers from the 27 Member States of the EU, at the Centro Cultural de Belém in Lisbon.

The agenda for the meeting chaired by Marta Temido via video conference focused on the appearance of new variants of COVID-19 and the importance of new approaches to testing and vaccination processes in the EU countries.

At the meeting, the majority of the Member States highlighted the importance of a coordinated approach to the pandemic as one of the aspects essential to the success of the response.

In addition to the Health Ministers from the 27 Member States, also taking part in the meeting were the Vice-President of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas i, and the European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides i, as well as representatives of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

At the press conference after the meeting, the Minister revealed that the Member States had also highlighted “the need to accelerate, together, the alignment between the scientific response and the industrial response, so that the contracts signed by the Commission can be complied with, thus assuring the implementation of the National Vaccination Plans as quickly as possible”.

Marta Temido went on to point to the goal of vaccinating 80% of people aged over 80 by the end of March, as well as the goal of vaccinating 70% of the population of the European Union by the end of summer.