Brussels to pay for Bluetongue vaccine

MEP welcomes move that should ensure universal vaccination across EU

Strasbourg, 17th January 2008 — Conservative MEP Sir Robert Atkins has welcomed the assurance from the EU Commissioner that the European Commission will pay the full cost of purchasing Bluetongue vaccine and half of the administration costs.

He called on the British Government to take the Commission’s offer by declaring an ‘emergency’ vaccination programme.

Commissioner Kyprianou told a Bluetongue conference in Brussels yesterday that the Commission estimates 150 million to 200 million vaccines will be needed at a cost of around three pence per vaccine. The Commissioner said he hoped that vaccination against the serotype (strain) affecting England can begin in April. The UK has already ordered 22.5 million doses of Bluetongue vaccine.

Sir Robert said:

“The European Commission will pay most of the costs associated with an emergency vaccination plan, but the British Government must classify the vaccination as an emergency first.

“If the EU is offering to pay towards the bill, it would be nonsensical to reject it. Our government must not always be so timid when it comes to asking for our money back from the EU.

“The only long-term solution to Bluetongue is a vaccination programme.”

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