The European Commission said that it had on December 17 concluded exploratory talks with the pharmaceutical company Novavax with a view to purchasing its potential vaccine against Covid-19.
The envisaged contract with Novavax would provide for the possibility for all EU member states to purchase 100 million doses, and they could further purchase up to 100 million more doses, the Commission said.
It said that the December 17 finalisation of the exploratory talks with Novavax come in addition to an already secured broad portfolio of vaccines to be produced in Europe, including the contracts already signed with AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSK, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, BioNtech-Pfizer, CureVac, and Moderna.
This diversified vaccines portfolio will ensure Europe is well prepared for vaccination, once the vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective, the Commission said.
EU countries could decide to donate the vaccine to lower and middle-income countries or to re-direct it to other European countries.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, said: “I am happy to announce that we continue to broaden our portfolio of diverse vaccines.
“Today’s step toward reaching an agreement with Novavax demonstrates the Commission’s commitment to ensure all possible options are explored to access vaccines against Covid-19. Access to more vaccines will lead to a sufficient coverage for beating the pandemic,” Von der Leyen said.
Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “We are close to adding a seventh promising vaccine to our portfolio and therefore increasing our chances to have the best possible choice for a safe and effective vaccine.
“All member states must now ensure that they are ready to start deploying some of them as from early 2021 once proven to be safe and effective. Vaccination will determine how we will live and work in 2021,” Kyriakides said.
“In the lead up to the festive period, we are asking citizens to continue their efforts to control the pandemic. Everyone must play their part in keeping further resurgences at bay while we wait for a vaccine,” she said.
(Photo: Sébastien Bertrand)
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