The European Commission announced the signing of a third contract with BioNTech and Pfizer for the supply of up to 1.8 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses between the end of this year and 2023, according to a FirstWord report. The deal, which had beenÂ agreedÂ earlier this month, allows for the purchase of 900 million doses of the current coronavirus vaccine Comirnaty, as well as a vaccine adapted to variants, with the option to purchase an additional 900 million doses.
Recently, the EUÂ exercisedÂ an option to acquire an additional 100 million doses of Pfizer and BioNTech’s mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccine, bringing the total number of doses to be delivered to the bloc this year to 600 million. The European Commission said Thursday that it expanded its commitment to Comirnaty “based on a sound scientific assessment, the technology used, the companies’ experience in vaccine development and their production capacity to supply the whole of the EU.”
According to the European Commission, the contract requires that production of the vaccine is based in the EU and that essential components are sourced within the region. The agreement also stipulates that, from the start of the supply in 2022, the delivery to the EU is guaranteed, while the ability for countries to resell or donate doses, including through the COVAX facility, has been reinforced.
In addition to Comirnaty, the European Commission has signed contracts for COVID-19 vaccines based on a number of technologies, including ones from AstraZeneca, CureVac, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna and Sanofi/GlaxoSmithKline. European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen remarked “potential contracts with other manufacturers will follow the same model, to the benefit of all.”