EU to purchase extra 100 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the new purchase on Twitter on Tuesday, which brings the EU’s total of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses to 300 million.
“We decided to take an additional 100 million doses of the BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine, which is already being used to vaccinate people across the EU,” she said.
We decided to take an additional 100 million doses of the #BioNTech /@Pfizer vaccine, which is already being used to vaccinate people across the EU.
We will therefore have 300 million doses of this vaccine, which was assessed as safe and effective.
More vaccines will follow!
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) December 29, 2020
The EU’s purchase comes as some vaccine candidates that the bloc has invested in have experienced delays during its trials, leading it to rely on the 200 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine that it originally purchased.
Over the weekend, EU countries first began receiving the vaccine that drug regulators approved last week.
In the first contract with the EU, Pfizer and BioNTech agreed to provide 200 million doses for $18.80 per dose, officials told Reuters last month. The deal for 100 million more doses had the same price per dose although a timeline is yet to be agreed upon, officials said.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine became the first approved by Western drug regulators – first in the U.K. and the U.S. earlier this month, both of which have been administering the vaccine for a few weeks.
The EU is expected to approve the Moderna vaccine next month and receive its order of 80 million doses. Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are approved in the U.S. and require patients to receive two doses.
Overall, the EU is signed up to receive almost 1.3 billion vaccines from various companies and has the ability to buy another 660 million, according to Reuters.