COVID: The European Union Plans To Order 180 Million Pfizer Vaccines Adapted To The Omicron Varient

covid 19 vaccine

According to the European Commission, the governments of the EU have agreed to exercise a purchase option for more than 180 million doses of a version of Covid-19 developed by BioNTech and Pfizer for its Omicron variant.

In November, Pfizer and BioNTech began developing an Omicron-specific vaccine prototype, and they expect it to be ready by March.

Ursula von der Leyen said the EU is agreeing to trigger a first tranche of more than 180 million extra doses in a third contract with BioNTech-Pfizer at a news conference on Thursday night at the end of a regular summit with EU leaders.

A Commission spokesperson said on Friday that if the adapted vaccine is ready and approved by then, deliveries would start in the second quarter of this year.

Through its latest agreement with Pfizer and BioNTech, the European Union will be able to buy up to 1.8 billion doses from these companies through 2023. Half of those doses have already been ordered and half are optional.

As of now, Pfizer has not discussed adapted versions of the vaccine in negotiations with the EU regarding their possible supply of optional doses.

In a release on Friday, Pfizer stated that discussions with the European Commission about the possibility of additional supply under their option rights under their agreement are not focused on an adapted vaccine at this time.

The company believes it can deliver an adapted vaccine by March 2022, but it is not yet clear whether this will be required. Its availability will be subject to regulatory approval, Pfizer explained.

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