The European Commission (EC) has signed a contract with CureVac for the pre-order of a vaccine against coronavirus, this is the fifth contract with a Western pharmaceutical company. The head of the EC, Ursula von der Leyen, wrote about this on Twitter on Tuesday.
“Today we approved a new contract for the procurement of a future coronavirus vaccine for Europeans from CureVac. This is the fifth such contract, thus we have pre-ordered 1.2 billion doses of vaccine so far. We are committed to providing Europeans with access to safe and effective vaccines. At a reasonable price, “she wrote, without specifying the number of contracts or possible delivery times.
The press service of the European Commission clarified that the contract with CureVac provides for the initial supply of 225 million doses of the vaccine, with the possibility of purchasing additional batches.
None of the five companies that the EU has contracts with have yet brought their vaccines to market.
Earlier on Tuesday, European Commission spokesman Stefan de Keersmaker said that the European Commission (EC) would not publish its contracts for the pre-order of coronavirus vaccines with Western pharmaceutical companies, as they contain confidential data. He also declined to answer whether the vaccine pre-order contracts fix the future cost of the vaccine for European consumers, or whether manufacturers will be able to change the price after the development and testing of their vaccines are fully completed.
He confirmed that under the vaccine pre-order contracts, the European Commission is making a significant advance, investing in expanding the manufacturing capabilities of companies that are needed to quickly supply the EU with significant volumes of the vaccine.
Six EC contracts
The European Commission’s vaccination strategy includes the signing of contracts for the pre-order of vaccines with six Western companies. The European Commission has already signed contracts with AstraZeneca, Sanofi — GSK, Johnson & Johnson, BioNTech concern — Pfizer and CureVac, a contract with Moderna is in preparation. The first of these contracts — with AstraZeneca for 400 million doses — has already entered into force on August 27, and the European Commission has already paid €336 million under it.
In total, the European Commission intends to receive from 1 to 2 billion doses of vaccines from all six manufacturers. At the same time, the EC recognizes that the development of one or more of these six companies may end in failure. The European Commission hopes that a widespread vaccination campaign in the EU can begin in the spring of 2021, and its real results will begin to be felt only by the end of next year.
Earlier, representatives of the European Commission have repeatedly stated that the world’s first vaccine against coronavirus, the Russian Sputnik V, will not be included in the EU vaccination strategy since this strategy includes only vaccine manufacturers who will conduct production in the EU. The European Commission refuses to comment on suggestions that it is not ready to give contracts worth hundreds of millions, and in the future, billions of euros to Russian companies.