The European Union has approved a second contract with the US pharmaceutical company Moderna for an additional purchase of 300 million doses of its Coronavirus vaccine, the Commission’s chief, Ursula von der Leyen announced on Wednesday. 

Under the deal, the bloc will get 150 million doses this year, with an option to purchase an extra 150 in 2022.  

“With a portfolio of up to 2.6 billion doses, we will be able to provide vaccines not just to our citizens, but to our neighbours and partners as well,” von der Leyen said during a press conference, citing that the bloc’s big vaccine stock allows it to donate the jab to lower and middle-income countries.

“The contract is important not only for the short term needs of the EU, but also for our future work to limit the rapid spread of new variants,” said bloc’s health chief, Stella Kyriakides.

Europe’s medicines watchdog, namely the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has already granted market authorisation for the COVID jabs developed by Pfizer/BioNTech, AstraZeneca/Oxford University and Moderna, while it is considering the shots by Johnson & Johnson, CureVac and Novavax.

On Tuesday, Belgian-based company Janssen Pharmaceutica, owned by US pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson submitted its COVID-19 vaccine to EMA for conditional marketing authorisation. A decision could be made by mid-March. 


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