The European Commission is seeking approval from EU governments to begin negotiations with Pfizer/BioNTech to purchase up to 1.8 billion doses of their COVID-19 vaccines, which could be delivered in 2022 and 2023.
This was reported to Reuters by an EU official on the condition of anonymity.
Earlier on Friday, the German daily Die Welt reported that the European Commission will soon sign a contract for the purchase of up to 1.8 billion doses, but did not say with which company.
An EU official, who asked not to be named, said the EU leadership had decided to approach Pfizer/BioNTech, and EU governments supported the plan, although a final “yes” had not yet been given.
Separately, a representative of the European Commission confirmed that the EU leadership has already identified one supplier, the manufacturer of mRNA vaccines, but declined to comment on which company will be contacted for the contract.
“If the opportunity presents itself, Pfizer and BioNTech are ready to deliver hundreds of millions of doses of COVID vaccines to Europe in 2022 and 2023, produced at our facilities in Europe,” a Pfizer spokesperson commented.
According to him, both companies can produce more than 3 billion doses of the vaccine in 2022.
Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are already supplying mRNA vaccines to the EU, while German biotech company CureVac is seeking EU approval for its mRNA vaccine.