The European Union has announced that a deal has been reached between them and pharmaceutical company Sanofi, for the provision of 300 million doses of the potential COVID-19 vaccination
The exploratory talks included terms of an envisaged contract that would allow EU Member States to purchase the required number of doses for their respective countries. It is hoped that once a vaccine has proven to be safe and effective against the virus, the Commission will have a contract in place for the purchase of 300 million doses.
President von der Leyen said that the EC is doing all in its power to ensure that Europeans have rapid access to a vaccine that is safe and protects them from COVID-19. She said that the deal with Sanofi is the first important step in a much broader EU vaccine strategy and that more will follow soon.
Von der Leyen said that the EC is in advanced discussions with other companies so as to invest in a diverse portfolio of promising vaccines. This, she said, increases their chances to obtain an effective remedy against the virus.
“A vaccine would be a truly global good. We are committed to helping secure access also for more vulnerable countries to find their way out of this crisis.,” she added.
Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “A safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is the surest exit strategy from the crisis. For that reason, we have been negotiating a united EU approach to secure doses of promising vaccine candidates in recent weeks. Today’s announcement of the conclusion of exploratory talks with Sanofi-GSK is the first important step in this direction, to provide equal access to the vaccine for our citizens.”
The EC has raised almost EUR 16 billion since 4 May of this year, under the Coronavirus Global Response. This is a global action which will aim to provide universal access to tests, treatments and vaccines, as well as helping the global recovery.
The Commission said they are ready to explore with international partners if other countries agree to pool resources, the possibility of reserving future vaccines for low and middle-income countries at the same time. The high-income countries could act as an inclusive international buyers’ group thus maximising access to them for all those who need them globally.
The Sanofi vaccine candidate is seeking marketing authorisation from the EMA for June 2021 following promising results from the Phase III clinical trials.