The European Commission has concluded talks with a fifth coronavirus vaccine manufacturer in its efforts to ensure that doses are rapidly available on the market.
A contract with US-based company Moderna, with which Brussels has just concluded exploratory talks, would provide for the possibility for all EU member states to purchase the vaccine and also to donate to lower and middle income countries or redirect to European countries, the Commission said.
Brussels plans to have a contractual framework in place for the initial purchase of 80 million doses on behalf of all EU member states, plus an option to purchase up to a further 80 million doses, to be supplied once a vaccine has proven to be safe and effective against COVID-19.
Intensive talks with other vaccine manufacturers continue. Apart from Moderna, the Commission has also concluded talks with Sanofi-GSK, Johnson & Johnson and CureVac. It has signed an advance purchase agreement with AstraZeneca.
“We invest in companies using diverse technologies to increase our chances to have vaccines that are safe and effective,” European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said.