On Wednesday, the European Commission authorised a contract with pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and BioNTech to purchase up to 300 million doses of their coronavirus vaccine.
The contract provides for the initial purchase of 200 million doses on behalf of all EU Member States. Once the vaccine has proven to be safe and effective against Covid-19, there is an option to request up to a further 100 million doses.
"The Pfizer vaccine is the most promising one so far," European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said. On Monday, Pfizer announced that interim results showed that the vaccine has an efficacy of 90%.
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"With this fourth contract, we are now consolidating an extremely solid vaccine candidate portfolio, most of them in advanced trials phase," von der Leyen said. "Once authorised, they will be quickly deployed and bring us closer to a sustainable solution of the pandemic."
The doses will be distributed to all Member States, giving each state "a fair share" based on its population, she said in a video message. "Member States will be supplied with the vaccine at the same time, under the same conditions."
We will authorise a contract for up to 300 million doses of the vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer.Safe and effective vaccine is our best shot at beating the #coronavirus and returning to our normal lives.#StrongerTogether #HealthUnion pic.twitter.com/lHQSqiNg9J — European Commission ?? (@EU_Commission) November 10, 2020
The contract with Pfizer and BioNTech is the fourth one the Commission has approved, following already signed contracts with AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSK and Janssen Pharmaceutica NV.
Additionally, the Commission also concluded "successful exploratory talks" with CureVac and Moderna, it announced.
The Commission has already started working with Member States to prepare national vaccination campaigns. "We are almost there," von der Leyen said. "In the meantime, let us be prudent and stay safe."
The Brussels Times