EC Reaches Agreement with AstraZeneca on Purchase of COVID-19 Vaccine

August 20, 2020
BioPharm International Editors

EC finalizes agreement to purchase millions of doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine.

The European Commission (EC) has reached an agreement with AstraZeneca on purchasing 300 million doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine, with the option to purchase 100 million more, on behalf of European Union member states.

As reported in an August 14, 2020 press release, the purchase of the AZD1222 vaccine doses will commence once safety and efficacy of the vaccine have been proven and will be financed through the Emergency Support Instrument. This agreement represents the first between the EC and a pharmaceutical company for a COVID-19 vaccine, and discussions with other vaccine manufacturers and the commission are ongoing.

“The EC’s intense negotiations continue to achieve results. Today's agreement is the first cornerstone in implementing the EC’s Vaccines Strategy,” said Ursula von der Leyen, president of the EC, in the press release. “This strategy will enable us to provide future vaccines to Europeans, as well as our partners elsewhere in the world.”

“Today, after weeks of negotiations, we have the first EU advance purchase agreement for a vaccine candidate. I would like to thank AstraZeneca for its constructive engagement on this important agreement for our citizens,” added Stella Kyriakides, commissioner for Health and Food Safety, in the press release. “We will continue to work tirelessly to bring more candidates into a broad EU vaccines portfolio. A safe and effective vaccine remains the surest exit strategy to protect our citizens and the rest of the world from the coronavirus.”

In an AstraZeneca press release on the agreement, Pascal Soriot, CEO of AstraZeneca, said, “This first vaccine agreement with the EC will ensure that millions of Europeans have access to the AZD1222 vaccine following its approval. With production in our European supply chain soon to be started, we hope to make the vaccine available widely and rapidly, with the first doses to be delivered by the end of 2020.”

Sources: EC, AstraZeneca