The European Commission announced Thursday it has approved a contract to advance purchase 200 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson.
The contract also allows the Commission to purchase an additional 200 million doses, as well as donate doses to low and middle income countries, according to a Commission press release.
This is the Commission’s third completed vaccine contract. In August and September, it agreed to purchase 300 million doses of a vaccine from AstraZeneca and 300 million doses of a vaccine from Sanofi/GSK.
The Commission has also completed “exploratory talks” with drugmakers CureVac, BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna. In these negotiations, the EU’s team and the pharma companies agree to the general terms of their agreement before launching a formal tender.
Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said this third agreement expands the EU’s vaccine portfolio “and therefore our chances to find an efficient remedy against the virus.”
“More agreements will follow, and we remain determined in our search for a successful and safe vaccine to combat this deadly pandemic,” Kyriakides wrote in the release.
EU diplomats have told POLITICO that the Commission is negotiating with Novavax as well, but the Commission has not confirmed this.
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