EU publishes priority list of health threats

As part of the European post-covid strategy, the European Commission’s Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA) has published a priority list of the three main health threats, which require coordination of measures at EU level.

Thus, the HERA board agreed on three categories of risks endangering life or otherwise seriously damaging health, likely to spread in all EU Member States, in this case agents pathogens with high pandemic potential, chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats, and threats resulting from antimicrobial resistance.

According to Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, “this exercise is the first step to ensure that when needed, all Member States can quickly access and dispose of medical countermeasures”.

HERA was created as a sentinel to deal with future health emergencies, she recalled.

In this sense, and within the framework of its 2022 work plan, HERA, in collaboration with Commission services, EU agencies and international partners and experts, has carried out this prioritization exercise, to select high-impact health threats and thereby ensure global alignment and close collaboration in global health security.

Identifying the main threats to health security is the first step in the process of ensuring the development, production capacity and scaling up of the manufacture, procurement and potential storage of medicines, diagnostic equipment, medical devices and personal protective equipment, as well as other medical countermeasures to ensure their availability and accessibility when needed.

According to the Commission, HERA will ensure that investments are constantly directed towards the preservation of public health and health security with regard to the availability of medical countermeasures.

One of HERA’s main objectives is to “ensure the development, manufacture, procurement and equitable distribution of key medical countermeasures to address any shortcomings in their availability and accessibility”. .

It should be noted that HERA was created in September 2021 to replace ad hoc solutions in terms of pandemic response and management with a permanent structure equipped with adequate tools and resources to plan the action of the pandemic. EU in the event of a health emergency.

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