“We are [Comissão Europeia] to speed up the investigation. Yesterday [segunda-feira] I spoke with the managers of an innovative company that is working on a promising technology to develop a vaccine against coronavirus ”, says the president of the community executive, Ursula von der Leyen, through a video published on the social network Twitter.
Recalling that the European Union (EU) has already made available up to 80 million euros to CureVac, a company in Tübingen, Germany, the official says she hopes that “with this support, it will be possible to have a vaccine on the market, perhaps by autumn”.
“This can save lives in Europe and the rest of the world,” says Ursula von der Leyen in the video.
Even so, the leader of the community executive admits that “there is still much to be done to combat this virus” in the EU. And, therefore, he stresses that “everyone can contribute”, advising citizens immediately to stay home “and to reduce social contact”.
On Monday, the European Commission announced support of up to 80 million euros for the German laboratory that is working on a potential vaccine for the new coronavirus, after an alleged offer from the US administration, denied by biopharmaceuticals.
The institution led by Ursula von der Leyen explained that this amount would be provided in the form of an EU guarantee for a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) in this amount, under the InnovFin infectious disease financing mechanism and the Community program for Horizon 2020 research.
The information was released after, also on Monday, CureVac denied having received an offer from the US Government to reserve its discovery to the Americans. US scientists said yesterday that they were already testing the vaccine in humans.
On Sunday, the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag cited unidentified sources from the German government who claimed that the owner of CureVac, a pharmaceutical company, had attended a meeting with President Donald Trump earlier this month, having received a generous offer to guarantee his work exclusively for the United States.
The newspaper also said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel would be disputing with the company the need for the vaccine, when ready, to also be used in Europe, which is currently the main focus of the pandemic.
“To make it clear about the coronavirus: CureVac did not receive an offer from the United States Government or entities related to it, before, during or since the meeting with the White House task force on March 2 ”, Wrote the director of the German laboratory today, in the company’s account on the social network Twitter.
CureVac’s chief operating officer, Hans Werner Haas, told the Tagesspiegel newspaper that his company had actually participated in a meeting with President Donald Trump, but denied the version of any offer to buy the rights to the new product.
The coronavirus responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic infected more than 180,000 people, of whom more than 7,000 died.
Of the infected people worldwide, more than 75,000 have recovered from the disease.
First death in Portugal
Portugal recorded its first death by COVID-19 yesterday, announced the Minister of Health, Marta Temido. He is an 80-year-old man with “several associated pathologies” who had been hospitalized for several days at the Hospital de Santa Maria, in Lisbon.
There are at least 448 people infected in Portugal, according to yesterday’s daily bulletin from the Directorate-General for Health (DGS).