AstraZeneca has received orders of at least 300 million doses of their potential coronavirus vaccine from the European Commission. On Friday, the body, which consists of 27 European nations, had announced that it is also negotiating with other vaccine makers as well.
First EU vaccine deal: AstraZeneca
“The European Commission’s intense negotiations continue to achieve results. Today’s agreement is the first cornerstone in implementing the European Commission’s Vaccines Strategy,” European Commission’s president Ursula von der Leyen said.
In addition, the deal with AstraZeneca that was approved last week also includes an option to buy 100 million more. Down payment will be shouldered by the EU’s Emergency Support Instrument. It has funds specifically for vaccine purchases from various pharmaceuticals. Full payments, once approved, will be depending on the EU heads.
We are making every effort to ensure rapid access to vaccine against the #coronavirus. 🇪🇺
— European Commission 🇪🇺 (@EU_Commission) August 15, 2020
British/Swedish biopharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca is among the top companies racing to develop an effective and safe vaccine. It is already in its Phase II/III of their wide-scale clinical trials of the AZD1222 COVID-19 vaccine, with results expected before the year ends. Their Phase I/II had given promising indications of their vaccine’s safety.
Per the press release of Cambridge-based AstraZeneca, the agreement ensures that EU members can have access to the potential vaccine at no profit. Chief executive of the drugmaker, Pascal Soriot, said, “The first vaccine agreement with the European Commission will ensure that millions of Europeans have access to the AZD1222 vaccine following its approval.”
He added that the production of the vaccine to supply to the region is “soon to be started.” They are planning to make it available “widely and rapidly.” The first does are intended to be delivered by this year’s end.
To exit the pandemic
According to the Health and Food Safety Commissioner Stella Kyriakides: “We will continue to work tirelessly to bring more candidates into a broad EU vaccines portfolio. A safe and effective vaccine remains the surest exit strategy to protect our citizens and the rest of the world from the coronavirus.”
The Friday agreement builds on earlier talks last June between the British pharmaceutical and the Inclusive Vaccine Alliance of Europe led by Germany, France, Italy, and the Netherlands.
The multinational drugmaker AstraZeneca had also made deals to supply other countries like Russia, South Korea, Japan, China, Latin America, and Brazil.