New deal takes EU's Covid-19 vaccine supplies close to two billion

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New Deal Takes Eu's Covid-19 Vaccine Supplies Close To Two Billion New Deal Takes Eu's Covid-19 Vaccine Supplies Close To Two Billion
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By Francesco Guarascio

The European Union has struck a deal for up 405 million doses of German biotech firm CureVac's potential Covid-19 vaccine, the head of the EU executive said on Monday.

The new deal takes total supplies secured by the bloc to nearly two billion doses, following supply agreements with AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi, and Pfizer for a combined 1.4 billion doses of their potential vaccines.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she also hoped to finalise a deal soon with Moderna for its vaccine, which showed positive interim results from large-scale clinical trials on Monday.

"I am glad to announce a new agreement to buy up to 405 million doses of a vaccine produced by the European company CureVac," Ms von der Leyen said.

She added the contract was negotiated after EU funding was provided to the company to develop its vaccine.

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The EU, with a population of about 450 million, has been in talks with CureVac for its experimental Covid-19 vaccine at least since July, an internal EU document seen by Reuters shows.

Down payment

The deal will be authorised by the Commission on Tuesday, Ms von der Leyen said, while the actual signature will take place some days later.

Under advance purchase agreements negotiated by the EU during the pandemic, the bloc makes a non-refundable down payment to a vaccine maker to secure a certain number of doses for an agreed price.

The agreed price will then be paid by EU states willing to buy the shot, only after it is authorised as safe and effective by the EU drugs regulator.

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The price agreed for the CureVac vaccine has not been disclosed. The deal will initially cover 225 million doses, with an option to buy another 180 million.

CureVac was not immediately available for comment.

CureVac's approach is based on so-called messenger RNA (mRNA), pieces of genetic code that prompt human cells to produce therapeutic proteins.

This is the same technology used by Moderna and also Pfizer/BioNTech, the other major potential vaccines to have reported positive late-stage trial results.

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