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EU concludes third Covid-19 vaccine deal

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Another coronavirus vaccine has been secured for European citizens after the EU Commission on Thursday clinched its third vaccine deal, this time with Janssen Pharmaceutica.

The Commission’s deal will secure an initial 200 million doses of the vaccine for its member states once it completes clinical trials and is proven safe and efficient.

The contract also opens the door for member states to purchase 200 million additional doses of the vaccine being developed by the Belgian-based company, owned by American pharma giant Johnson & Johnson.

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Additionally, the deal will also give member states the chance to opt to donate vaccine doses to “low or medium-income countries or to funnel them to other European countries.”

In September, a report by British non-profit Oxfam found that a handful of rich nations had already pre-bought up 51% of future stocks of potential vaccines in development.

The Janssen deal on Thursday is the third of its kind concluded so far by the EU, who previously clinched deals with pharma firms AstraZeneca and Sanofi-GSK for up to 400 million and 300 million doses, respectively, thus pre-booking a combined 1.1 billion doses of candidate vaccines for a population of around 450 million.

In a press release, the Commission also said that it had finished initial talks with CureVac, BioNTech-Pfizer and Moderna, all firms who are currently developing potential Covid-19 vaccines.

The Commission on Thursday also announced it had secured 500,000 doses of Remdesivir, the only treatment approved in the EU to treat patients with severe symptoms of Covid-19.

The contract comes just a day after the Netherlands said it had used up all its stock of the antiviral.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times