EU parliament votes for resolution to support TBVI

03-02-11

Europe has to stay on the forefront in the development of new tuberculosis vaccines. A large majority (578 against 9) MEP’s supported a resolution for the European Commission, the Council and WHO to stress the importance of this issue. TBVI takes up a key position in the text of the resolution.

The MEP’s believe that urgent consideration should be given to introducing innovative financing mechanisms, through which the TBVI consortium is able to develop urgently needed vaccines which are necessary to eliminate tuberculosis.

According to the MEP’s, TB remains one of the main causes of death in the world, with nearly 2 million people dying as a result of the disease every year. TB is still a danger to European citizens, among others, because of the epidemic of multidrug and extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis. Tb treatment in the EU alone costs 2 billion euro’s per year.

New vaccines are needed, given that just one type of vaccine (BCG) has been available since 1921 and that it is insufficiently effective and only provides protection for very young children (pediatric tuberculosis). The MEP’s say that only a vaccination program could have a positive impact in terms of achieving MDG 6 after 2015, and in particular the elimination of tuberculosis by 2050.

The MEP’s emphasize that Member States and the EU have already done massive investments in research into tuberculosis vaccines (Framework Programs 5, 6 and 7). Consortia, now regrouped in TBVI, have made substantial progress in developing effective tuberculosis vaccines. This know-how and these innovations confirm the EU as the leader in this field. Continuing developing and researching new vaccines is an activity that fits very well in the Europe 2020 strategy. Eliminating TB is not only good news for communities that are currently affected by the disease. It will also bring down these health costs and strengthen Europe’s leadership in innovation.

Read the motion for a resolution 
This is the press release of the European Union and the talk of MEP Charles Goerens.