Coronavirus: the Commission signs first contract with AstraZeneca
Today, the first contract the European Commission has negotiated on behalf of the EU Member States with a pharmaceutical company entered into force following the formal signature between AstraZeneca and the Commission. The contract will allow the purchase of a vaccine against COVID-19 for all the Member States of the EU as well as the donation to lower and middle income countries or the re-direction to other European countries.
Through the contract, all Member States will be able to purchase 300 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine, with an option for further 100 million doses, to be distributed on a population-based pro-rata basis.
The Commission continues discussing similar agreements with other vaccine manufacturers and has concluded successful exploratory talks with Sanofi-GSK on 31 July, Johnson & Johnson on 13 August, CureVac on 18 August and Moderna on 24 August.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, said: “The Commission is working non-stop to provide EU citizens with a safe and effective vaccine against COVID-19 as quickly as possible. The entry into force of the contract with AstraZeneca is an important step forward in this respect. I am looking forward to enriching our portfolio of potential vaccines thanks to contracts with other pharmaceutical companies and engaging with international partners for universal and equitable access to vaccination.”
Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “Our negotiations have now delivered clear results: a first contract signed delivering on our commitment to ensure a diversified vaccine portfolio to protect the public health of our citizens. Today's signature - made possible by the important groundwork undertaken by France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands - will ensure that doses of a vaccine which, if proven effective and safe, will be delivered across Member States. We expect to announce additional agreements with other vaccine manufacturers very swiftly. “
AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford joined forces to develop and distribute the University's potential recombinant adenovirus vaccine aimed at preventing COVID-19 infection.
AstraZeneca's vaccine candidate is already in large-scale Phase II/III Clinical Trials after promising results in Phase I/II concerning safety and immunogenicity.