European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Friday that the institution had agreed to double the number of COVID-19 vaccines with biotechnological firms BioNTech/Pfizer.
With the new contract, the EU will be able to buy another 200 million doses with an option for another 100 million jabs, in addition to the already secured 300 million doses.
“75 million doses will be available in the second quarter of the year, and the rest in the third and fourth quarters,” von der Leyen told the press.
“Without investing in building our capacities early on, we couldn’t have doubled the number of vaccines,” she added.
The European Commission’s president also pointed out that the EU made agreements with six pharmaceutical companies — Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca, CureVac, Johnson&Johnson, and Sanofi/GlaxoSmithKline.
“If they are all effective, 2.3 billion vaccines will be available. This is more than sufficient for us. We should not only think of ourselves but other countries that require our support,” she said.
EU member states still need to approve the new vaccine deal.
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