Pfizer vaccine Photograph:( Reuters )
The European Union set to buy an extra 100 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine
The European Union set to buy an extra 100 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine. In total, EU has fetched 300 million doses of the vaccine from the duo so far, as stated by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday.
"We decided to take an additional 100 million doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine, which is already being used to vaccinate people across the EU," she announced on Twitter.
"We will therefore have 300 million doses of this vaccine, which was assessed as safe and effective," the EC president added.
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Many of the vaccine candidates for which the EU had secured orders have run into delays owing to clinical trials, prompting the bloc to rely on shots from fewer manufactures.
The jab made by Pfizer and BioNTech is the first vaccine to be approved by regulators in the West, and is being rolled out in many countries including Britain and the United States.
Pfizer and BioNTech had agreed to quickly deliver 200 million doses of the vaccine for $18.8 per piece, EU officials had told Reuters in November.
The extra doses will be provided at the same rate, but the timetable may be negotiated, as stated by EU officials. Pfizer and BioNTech in a statement said that all 300 doses are expected to be delivered in 2020 and 2021.
"The additional 100 million doses will be delivered in 2021, supporting the vaccination campaigns, which started two days ago in all 27 member states," BioNTech Chief Executive Officer Ugur Sahin stated.
The EU has a population of 450 million people, and is relying on Pfizer’s 200 million shots to vaccinate its people.
The EU is also set to approve the shot developed by Moderna in January 2021. Initially, an order for 80 million doses has been placed, with 80 million more doses to be fetched later on.
Both vaccines - Pfizer and Moderna require two doses per person. In total, the EU has booked 1.3 billion doses of vaccines as part of deals with Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca-Oxford, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi-GSK, CureVac among many. In addition, the bloc could procure 660 million more doses.