EU procures additional 300 million doses of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine
The European Union on Friday secured a deal for an additional 300 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech in an attempt to enable member nations to ramp up their vaccination programmes. President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said the move was a “very positive development.”
“We right now have access to 300 million doses of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine. We now have agreed with BioNTech-Pfizer to extend the contract. With the new agreement, we could purchase a total of up to an additional 300 million doses of the vaccine. In other words, this will allow us to double the number of doses,” Von der Leyen said.
Moreover, 75 million of these new doses would be available by the second quarter of the year and the remaining doses would be delivered in the third and fourth quarters, she added. Von der Leyen also said that the vaccine has already been approved by Europe’s regulator, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), and would therefore require no new negotiations for the deal. Also, the vaccine has been authorised already thus making it easier for the member states to continue their inoculation program, she added.
On Wednesday, Europe granted its approval to Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine, the second in European Union. “With these two authorised vaccines, we have already secured a number of doses that we need to vaccinate 380 million Europeans. This is more than 80 per cent of the European population,” von der Leyen added. She also expressed the belief that other vaccines would also be approved in the “coming weeks and months.”
When asked if individual member nations of the EU would be allowed to negotiate their own deals with vaccine manufacturers, von der Leyen said “There will be no parallel negotiations; no parallel contracts. The framework we are all working in is a framework of 27 [nations]. Together we are negotiating, together we are procuring.”
Earlier on Monday, Germany said that the country has signed a memorandum of understanding with BioNTech for supplying 30 million doses of their vaccine on a bilateral basis. The country also said that the EU was aware of the MoU, according to a news report by Reuters.
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