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Selon ECV, il est temps de mettre fin à la négligence vécue par la santé oculaire en Europe

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eyehealth500x200On 1 April, the European Coalition for Vision (ECV) met with the EU Directorate General for Health and Consumers (DG SANCO) and EUROSTAT, the statistical office of the EU, to reiterate its call to European decision-makers to include eye health and vision in the European political agenda.

Earlier this year, in an event supported by several MEPs, the ECV launched its manifesto for the European Parliament elections in which it calls on the European Parliament to use its significant powers to improve the lives of people affected by vision impairment or at risk of vision loss.

"Europe is facing an invisible epidemic, with an estimated 20.4 million people in the whole of Europe suffering from serious vision impairment - including 2.3 million who are blind. Without adequate action, these worrying numbers will only increase with the rise of diabetes and the aging population. Shamefully, two-thirds of these cases could actually be prevented or treated and are not,” said Bob Chappell, former president of the European Council of Optometry and Optics.

“For way too long eye health and vision has been neglected. Brussels should make up for lost time. For starters, it could begin promoting more accessible eye care for all and providing improved and timely rehabilitation services – measures that would go a long way to improve the lives of those at risk of and those with vision impairment,” said International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness Advocacy Manager Zoe Gray.

In its meeting with DG SANCO and EUROSTAT, the coalition drew attention to the absence of official data on eye health and vision and ways to address it. “Data collection is crucial to better appreciate the magnitude of the issue we face, as well as to develop more efficient solutions to it,” said Vision Impact Institute President Jean-Felix Biosse. “Specific indicators should be coordinated and monitored by member states so that EUROSTAT can deliver tangible, interlinked and clear data. This would also help assess results of public health policies to tackle eye health and vision impairment across Europe,” concluded Duplan.

The European Coalition for Vision (ECV) is an alliance made up of professional bodies, patient groups, European NGOs, disabled people’s organisations and associations of health and medical suppliers. We exist to raise the profile of eye health and vision, help prevent avoidable visual impairment and secure an equal and inclusive society for those with irreversible blindness or low vision in Europe.


Brexit Britain just approved a European vaccine, German health minister says

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Celebrating Britain’s swift approval of BioNtech and Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine as a benefit of Brexit is misplaced since the vaccine was itself a product of the European Union that Britain has left, German Health Minister Jens Spahn (photo) a déclaré, écrit Thomas Escritt.

Spahn told journalists that while Britain had been the first to approve the vaccine, he was optimistic that the European Medicines Agency would soon follow. The time difference was due to Britain and the US having conducted an emergency approval process, while the EU was using a regular process.

“But a few remarks on Brexit to my British friends: Biontech is a European development, from the EU. The fact that this EU product is so good that Britain approved it so quickly shows that in this crisis European and international cooperation are best,” he said.

Some have suggested that Britain having its own medicines approval meant it could move more nimbly than the EU’s bloc-wide agency.

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L'UE critique l'approbation `` hâtive '' du vaccin COVID-19 par le Royaume-Uni

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The European Union criticized Britain’s rapid approval of Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday (2 December), saying its own procedure was more thorough, after Britain became the first western country to endorse a COVID-19 shot, écrit .

The move to grant emergency authorization to the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been seen by many as a political coup for UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has led his country out of the EU and faced criticism for his handling of the pandemic.

The decision was made under an ultra-fast, emergency approval process, which allowed the British drugs regulator to temporarily authorise the vaccine only ten days after it began examining data from large-scale trials.

In an unusually blunt statement, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), which is in charge of approving COVID-19 vaccines for the EU, said its longer approval procedure was more appropriate as it was based on more evidence and required more checks than the emergency procedure chosen by Britain.

The agency said on Tuesday it would decide by Dec. 29 whether to provisionally authorise the vaccine from U.S. drugmaker Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech.

A spokesman for the European Commission, the EU executive, said the EMA’s procedure was “the most effective regulatory mechanism to grant all EU citizens’ access to a safe and effective vaccine,” as it was based on more evidence.

June Raine, the head of Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), defended its decision.

“The way in which the MHRA has worked is equivalent to all international standards,” she said.

“Our progress has been totally dependent on the availability of data in our rolling review and our rigorous assessment and independent advice we have received,” she added.

The EMA started a rolling review of preliminary data from Pfizer trials on 6 October, an emergency procedure aimed at speeding up possible approval, which usually takes at least seven months from reception of full data.

The UK regulator launched its own rolling review on Oct. 30, and analysed less data than made available to the EMA.

“The idea is not to be first but to have a safe and effective vaccine,” Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn told a news conference.

Asked about the emergency procedure used by Britain, he said EU countries had opted for a more thorough procedure to boost confidence in vaccines.

“If you evaluate only the partial data as they are doing they also take a minimum of risk,” the EMA’s former head Guido Rasi told an Italian radio.

“Personally I would have expected a robust review of all available data, which the British government has not done to be able to say that without Europe you come first,” he added.

EU lawmakers were even more explicit in their criticism of Britain’s move.

“I consider this decision to be problematic and recommend that EU Member States do not repeat the process in the same way,” said Peter Liese, an EU lawmaker who is a member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party.

“A few weeks of thorough examination by the European Medicines Agency is better than a hasty emergency marketing authorization of a vaccine,” said Liese, who represents the centre right grouping, the largest in the EU Parliament.

Under EU rules, the Pfizer vaccine must be authorized by the EMA, but EU countries can use an emergency procedure that allows them to distribute a vaccine at home for temporary use.

Britain is still subject to EU rules until it fully leaves the bloc at the end of the year.

“There is an obvious global race to get the vaccine on the market as fast as possible,” said Tiemo Wolken, an EU lawmaker from the socialist grouping, the second largest in the Parliament.

“However, I do believe that it is better to take the time and make sure that the quality, effectiveness and safety is guaranteed and matches our EU standards.”

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Annonce des gagnants des 2020 #BeInclusive EU Sport Awards

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À la ligne #BeInclusive EU Sport Awards cérémonie le 1er décembre, la commissaire à l'innovation, à la recherche, à la culture, à l'éducation et à la jeunesse, Mariya Gabriel, a annoncé les lauréats pour 2020. Le commissaire Gabriel a déclaré: «Félicitations aux trois lauréats des #BeInclusive EU Sport Awards de cette année, et une mention spéciale à la six autres finalistes. 181 projets incroyables étaient en cours cette année et j'espère qu'ils poursuivront tous leur excellent travail - nous aidant à construire une société cohésive, unie dans la diversité, à travers le sport. Leur travail inlassable et leur énergie nous rappellent la puissance du sport. 

Les #BeInclusive Awards reconnaissent et célèbrent les réalisations des organisations sportives qui travaillent avec les minorités ethniques, les réfugiés, les personnes handicapées, les groupes de jeunes à risque ou tout autre groupe confronté à des circonstances sociales difficiles. Les prix 2020 ont été lancés en avril et ouverts à toutes les organisations établies dans le Pays du programme Erasmus + - public ou privé, commercial ou à but non lucratif. Des experts indépendants ont évalué toutes les candidatures de projets et leur contribution à l'inclusion sociale par le sport.

Neuf projets ont été présélectionnés par un jury de haut niveau, avec trois favoris: «INtegrative Championship - INclude and INtegrate!» de Pologne - soutenir la participation égale et active des personnes handicapées; 'Surf.ART - Atreve-te | Realiza-te | Transforma-te 'au Portugal - utiliser le surf comme moyen d'atteindre les jeunes des régions à haut niveau de pauvreté; et le projet français «Ovale citoyen» - soutenir l'inclusion sociale par le sport des personnes issues de l'immigration ou des personnes sans domicile. Les détails complets des gagnants sont disponibles ici ainsi que des informations sur tous les projets. Plus d'informations sur le sport dans l'UE sont disponibles ici.

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