EU Signs 3rd Contract With BioNTech-Pfizer For 1.8bn Vax Doses

Brussels: The European Union (EU) has signed a third contract with pharmaceutical companies BioNTech and Pfizer, securing an additional 1.8 billion Covid-19 vaccine doses between the end of 2021 and 2023.

The European Commission said in a statement on Thursday that the new contract requires that the vaccine production is based in the EU and those essential components are sourced within the bloc, reports Xinhua news agency.

It also stipulates that from the start of the supply in 2022, timely delivery to the EU is guaranteed.

Member states can resell or donate doses to countries in need outside the EU or through the COVAX Facility, contributing to global and fair access to the vaccine across the world, according to the statement.

“Potential contracts with other manufacturers will follow the same model, to the benefit of all,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Stella Kyriakides added that the EU was prioritising “technologies that have proven their worth”, like mRNA vaccines, but it was keeping its options open.

The EU has already signed contracts with AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSK, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, CureVac and Moderna for vaccine supplies.

The Commission has granted conditional marketing authorization for the vaccines developed by BioNTech and Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, as well as Johnson and Johnson.

This diversified portfolio ensures the EU has access to enough doses to immunise its whole population, including for the virus variants, the Commission said in the statement.