Hans Schikan becomes vaccine special envoy

Health minister Hugo de Jonge has informed the House of Representatives that Hans Schikan has today taken on the role of special envoy for vaccines. Mr Schikan, who has extensive experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, will look into how the Netherlands can further accelerate the manufacture of coronavirus vaccines in the current circumstances. He will present specific recommendations for scaling-up vaccine production in a report due in mid-March 2021.

In addition to an impressive track record in biopharma, Mr Schikan (62) offers a wide-ranging network of relevant partners. His previous roles have included Top Team member of the Top Sector Life Sciences & Health, CEO of biotech company Prosensa and board chairman and supervisory board member of various biopharmaceutical companies at home and abroad.

Scaling up

The vaccine special envoy will engage in dialogue with relevant parties in the Netherlands to determine the capacity for manufacturing coronavirus vaccines. He will also talk to companies that have already pledged to supply coronavirus vaccines to the Netherlands, in order to establish whether they face any obstacles in scaling up production and delivery. Mr Schikan will encourage partnership and dialogue and, where possible, bring parties together to facilitate the agreement of vaccine production contracts. A team of staff from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy and the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport will assist the special envoy in his role.

European dimension

The vaccine special envoy’s work has a European dimension as well. The European Parliament has also called on the European Commission to study how to ramp up production capacity. The Dutch vaccine special envoy has been asked to coordinate his national efforts with the EU investigation.