The European Union will buy an extra 100 million doses of a Coronavirus vaccine developed by US pharmaceutical Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, the Commission’s chief Ursula von der Leyen announced on Tuesday.
“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,” von der Leyen wrote in a Twitter post, as EU member states simultaneously kickstarted vaccinations on December 27, with hopes that they will mark the end of the Coronavirus pandemic.
She added that the move, which is part of the Advanced Purchase Agreement the EU Executive signed with the two companies on November 11, will bring the total supply to 300 million doses of the vaccine.
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 additional 100 million doses will be delivered in 2021, supporting the vaccination campaigns, which started two days ago in all 27 member states,” said Ugur Sahin, the chief of BioNTech.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine has been green lighted by Europe’s medicines watchdog, the European Medicines Agency (EMA), after it was found to be 90% effective in preventing COVID-19 among those without evidence of prior infection.