AstraZeneca to supply 400 million doses of COVID-19 Vaccine to Europe
AstraZeneca plans to begin delivering the vaccine to European countries by the end of this year under the agreement with the Inclusive Vaccine Alliance, formed this month by France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands.
London: Drugmaker AstraZeneca struck a deal on Saturday to supply up to 400 million doses of an experimental Covid-19 vaccine to European Union countries, the latest in a series of agreements as scientists, governments and pharmaceutical companies race to combat the virus.
AstraZeneca plans to begin delivering the vaccine to European countries by the end of this year under the agreement with the Inclusive Vaccine Alliance, formed this month by France, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. All other EU member states will have the chance to take part under the same terms as the original alliance members.
The cost of making the vaccine, which was developed by Oxford University, is expected to be offset by funding from the governments. "This agreement will ensure that hundreds of millions of Europeans have access to Oxford University's vaccine following approval," said AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot.
"With our European supply chain due to begin production soon, we hope to make the vaccine available widely and rapidly." The deal is the latest in a series of agreements to produce the vaccine - even though it is not certain it will work to prevent coronavirus infections. Because of the desperate need for a vaccine amid the pandemic that has killed more than 426,000 people worldwide, AstraZeneca is scaling up manufacturing with human trials still underway.
The company recently completed similar agreements with UK, the US, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, a public-private-charitable partnership based in Norway, and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, another public-private partnership headquartered in Geneva, for 700 million doses. It plans to produce an additional 1 billion doses under a deal with the Serum Institute of India.