The European Commission has said in a statement that it has signed a third contract with pharmaceutical companies BioNTech and Pfizer for an additional 1.8bn doses of Covid vaccine, APA reports citing The Guardian.
The contract requires that the vaccine production is based in the EU and that essential components are sourced from the EU, Reuters reports. The EU says the deal “will allow for the purchase of 900m doses of the current vaccine and of a vaccine adapted to variants, with the option to purchase an additional 900m doses.”
There’s a slight dig at the reliability of AstraZeneca as a supplier in the statement, which says: “Thanks to the well-established cooperation with the companies under the current contracts and arrangements put in place, timely deliveries of the doses are ensured.”
The EU is currently in a legal dispute with AstraZeneca as the manufacturer has failed to deliver the promised number of doses so far.
There’s also a nod to vaccine equity, with the statement saying: “The possibility for member states to resell or donate doses to countries in need outside the EU or through the Covax facility has been reinforced, contributing to a global and fair access to the vaccine across the world.”