EU to buy up to 300 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine

EU to buy up to 300 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, left, and European Council President Charles Michel participate in a media conference after an EU summit in video conference format at the European Council building in Brussels, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2020. EU leaders held a video conference to address the need to strengthen the collective effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. They also discussed quarantine regulations, cross-border contact tracing, and temporary restrictions on non-essential travel into the EU as well as the EU vaccine strategy. (Olivier Hoslet, Pool via AP)

The European Commission will sign a deal to secure up to 300 million doses of the experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by BioNTech and Pfizer.

Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the EU's executive arm, said the commission will authorize the deal on Wednesday after "working tirelessly to secure doses of potential vaccines" in recent months.

"This is the most promising vaccine so far," von der Leyen said. "Once this vaccine becomes available, our plan is to deploy it quickly, everywhere in Europe."

Pfizer said Monday that early results from the vaccine suggests the shots may be a surprisingly robust 90% effective at preventing COVID-19.

The European Commission had already secured three other deals with allowing its 27 member states to buy nearly one billion doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine.

"And more will come. Because we need to have a broad portfolio of vaccines based on different technologies," von der Leyen said. "We have already started working with member states to prepare national vaccination campaigns. We are almost there. In the meantime, let us be prudent, and stay safe."

The commission said once a is ready, member states should have access to it at the same time, and give priority to groups including and people over 60 years, as well as people with making them more vulnerable.

BioNTech said Tuesday that it and Pfizer have so far signed commercial supply agreements for 570 million doses in 2020 and 2021, with options to purchase an additional 600 million doses.

EU to buy up to 300 million doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine
A general view of Pfizer Manufacturing Belgium in Puurs, Belgium, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. Pfizer said Monday that early results from its coronavirus vaccine suggest the shots may be a surprisingly robust 90% effective at preventing COVID-19, putting the company on track to apply later this month for emergency-use approval from the Food and Drug Administration in the United States. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

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