EU secures 250m doses of COVID-19 vaccine under review

The European Commission (EU) has announced a joint procurement deal, wherein 14 countries will secure access to 250 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from Spanish pharmaceutical company, HIPRA Human Health.

The commission signed the contract in preparation for autumn and winter, EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said in a statement on Tuesday.

The commission said participating countries in the joint purchasing agreement with HIPRA could donate the vaccines to other less-wealthy countries if they wish to do so.

The vaccine, currently under review at the European Medicines Agency (EMA), is designed as a booster dose for persons older than 16 that already had been vaccinated against COVID-19.

According to the commission, once the new vaccine has received EMA approval, EU countries can purchase vaccines through the agreed framework with HIPRA.

Stored at temperatures of between two and eight degrees Celsius, the commission said this refrigerated temperature facilitates distribution in Europe and around the rest of the world.

So far the EU had secured the option to buy 4.2 billion COVID-19 doses under the bloc’s procurement strategy, among them vaccines from AstraZeneca, Moderna, and BioNtech-Pfizer, the commission said.(dpa/NAN)

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