EU Fee President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted that her workplace “has simply authorized a contract for a assured 900 million doses” with the identical quantity of doses as a future possibility.
The brand new contract, which has the unanimous backing of the EU member states, will entail not solely the manufacturing of the vaccines, but in addition ensuring that each one the important elements needs to be sourced from the EU.
The European Commission at the moment has a portfolio of two.6 billion doses from half a dozen corporations. “Different contracts and different vaccine applied sciences will comply with,” von der Leyen mentioned in a Twitter message.
Pfizer-BioNTech had an preliminary contract of 600 million doses with the EU.
Saturday’s announcement additionally underscores the arrogance the EU has proven within the expertise used for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is totally different from that behind the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
The lively ingredient within the Pfizer-BioNTech shot is messenger RNA, or mRNA, which comprises the directions for human cells to assemble a innocent piece of the coronavirus known as the spike protein. The human immune system acknowledges the spike protein as overseas, permitting it to mount a response in opposition to the virus upon an infection.
The announcement of the massive contract extension comes because the European Union is on the lookout for methods to fulfill the challenges of needed booster shots, attainable new variants and a drive to vaccinate youngsters and youngsters.
America’s Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech have already mentioned that they would supply the EU with an additional 50 million doses within the 2nd quarter of this 12 months, making up for faltering deliveries of AstraZeneca.
In distinction to the oft-criticized Anglo-Swedish AstraZeneca, von der Leyen has mentioned that Pfizer-BioNTech is a dependable companion that delivers on its commitments.
Two weeks in the past, the EU launched authorized proceedings in opposition to AstraZeneca for failing to respect the phrases of its contract with the 27-nation bloc.
The AstraZeneca vaccine had been central to Europe’s immunization marketing campaign, and a linchpin within the international technique to get vaccines to poorer international locations. However the gradual tempo of deliveries has pissed off the Europeans they usually have held the corporate accountable for partly delaying their vaccine rollout.
Up to now, von der Leyen mentioned, the EU has made some 200 million doses accessible to its 450 million residents whereas virtually as many have been exported from the bloc.