The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, appealed today to science and technology as one more element of national security, and has been convinced that the next arrival of vaccines against the new coronavirus will be “the beginning of the end” of the crisis caused by the pandemic.

Sánchez has made these reflections at the facilities of the pharmaceutical company Rovi, which is already prepared for the large-scale manufacture of the vaccine that the American multinational Moderna is developing at the time it obtains authorization from the regulatory agencies.

After touring the facilities that the company has in the Madrid town of San Sebastián de los Reyes accompanied by the Minister of Science and Innovation, Pedro Duque, the President of the Government highlighted the role that science and research are playing in this crisis and that has supposed a “fundamental support” for the Government.

“Although there was no scientific basis to feel invulnerable”, the truth is that in the western world “it seemed to us that a pandemic was something far away”, more typical of places like Africa or Asia, something that “we did not think could happen to us here” , Sánchez has recognized.

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez (i), during his visit to the Rovi Pharmaceutical Laboratories factory. Pool Moncloa / Fernando Calvo Pool Moncloa / Fernando Calvo

But the crisis has made it clear that Europe has to find joint solutions and give homogeneous answers, such as designing the celebration of Christmas, Sánchez said, “because we live in an interconnected world” that forces us to seek global solutions.

Now, after experiencing the first wave of the pandemic that “left many dead but we also saved many lives”, and passing the second wave “much better prepared, with more knowledge and more instruments thanks to public-private collaboration”, begins the third phase that, with the arrival of the first vaccines, is “the beginning of the end”, has advanced Sánchez.

The President of the Government recalled that until now the Executive’s priority was to achieve “a balanced coexistence” with the virus so as not to slow down economic activity and save employment, but now “it is time to neutralize it” and for that Spain has already designed a strategy of vaccination that defines the most vulnerable groups, objectives, logistics and distribution, among other aspects.

Also, the vaccination plan has a communication strategy that is “necessary” because “we are facing something unprecedented,” Sánchez warned.

The President of the Government has assured that now “an exciting challenge” begins in which the importance of public-private collaboration and R + D + i must be vindicated, with which the Government has a “clear and unequivocal commitment” , as has been reflected in the draft law of the General State Budgets that, this year, the financing of science has increased by 1,200 million euros, “almost 60% more”.

In addition, Sánchez has been convinced that the Congress of Deputies is aware that a State Pact is needed to ensure long-term financing of science and to guarantee security and economic progress.

This same week, Rovi Laboratories announced that their Spanish plants are ready to start producing Moderna’s vaccine from early 2021.

The company will not manufacture the active ingredient, but will instead be in charge of producing vials, thawing, packaging and labeling the serum on a production line with which it plans to generate “hundreds of millions of doses” of Moderna’s mRNA-1273 antidote, which in clinical trials have shown an efficacy of 94.5%.

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