First Covid-19 vaccine: European Commission agrees to 300m doses

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The European Commission has agreed to buy up to 300 million doses of the BioNTech-Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.

This is the fourth contract regarding Covid-19 vaccines, which provides for the initial purchase of 200 million doses on behalf of all EU Member States, plus an option to request up to a further 100 million doses. This is to be supplied once a vaccine has proven to be safe and effective against COVID-19.

The BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine can prevent more than 90% of people from getting the virus. It has been tested on 43,500 people in six countries and no safety concerns have been raised. The companies plan to apply for emergency approval to use the vaccine by the end of November.

The vaccine is based on messenger RNA (mRNA). mRNA plays a fundamental role in  biology, transferring instructions from DNA to cells’ protein making machinery. In an mRNA vaccine, these instructions make harmless fragments of the virus which the human body uses to build an immune response to prevent or fight disease.

The other three EU contracts regarding a vaccine are with AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSK and Janssen Pharmaceutica NV. Furthermore, successful exploratory talks with CureVac and Moderna have been concluded.