European Commission to purchase COVID-19 vaccine

FILE PHOTO: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/

The European Commission (EC) has reached a first agreement to purchase a potential vaccine against COVID-19.

This agreement is being made with the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

Once the vaccine has proven to be safe and effective against COVID-19, the Commission now has agreed the basis for a contractual framework for the purchase of 300 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, with an option to purchase 100 million more, on behalf of EU Member States. The Commission continues discussing similar agreements with other vaccine manufacturers.

AstraZeneca’s vaccine candidate is already in large-scale Phase II/III Clinical Trials after promising results in Phase I/II concerning safety and immunogenicity. The decision to support the vaccine proposed by AstraZeneca is based on a scientific approach and the technology used (a non-replicative recombinant chimpanzee adenovirus-based vaccine ChAdOx1), speed at delivery at scale, cost, risk sharing, liability and the production capacity able to supply the whole of the EU, among others.

The EC has also agreed to donate to lower and middle income countries or re-direct to other European countries.

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