Brussels secures 160 million doses of Moderna vaccines

This is the sixth contract the Commission has signed with pharmaceutical companies for the covid-19 vaccine

This Tuesday, the president of the Community executive, Ursula Von der Leyen, announced that on Wednesday Brussels will close the advance purchase of 160 million doses of the Moderna vaccine, a week after the American company announced that its treatment is 94.5% effective. "According to the results of the first trials, it could be highly effective," explained Von der Leyen. This will be the sixth contract that the European Commission signs with pharmacists working on covid-19 vaccine

Brussels is extending the catalogue of vaccines of which millions of doses have been pre-purchased to reach all the member states of the European Union in an "equal" way, as the president of the Commission reminds each time she announces a new contract. The last announcement was last week, when she announced the advance purchase of 405 million doses of vaccine from the German pharmaceutical company CureVac.

Advance purchases of doses have already been signed with Pfizer-BioNTech, Johnson&Johnson, AstraZeneca, Sanofi, CureVac and Moderna. In total, therefore, Brussels has signed up for 1.965 million doses with several pharmaceutical companies so as not to be left out of the global race to acquire the vaccine. This does not mean that all the doses are bought because they are advance contracts that support the research and development process of the vaccine and are conditional on its final success.

The figure of 1.965 million doses includes the scale-up clauses because what the Commission has done in several cases is to open up 200 million doses upfront which are then "scalable" to, for example, 200 million more. But taking the figure at its highest, it means that the Commission has acquired about four doses per inhabitant of the European Union.

Even so, all these contracts are not public. Brussels refuses to publish the details, citing confidentiality clauses specific to the negotiation, despite demands from the European Parliament, for example. On the other hand, the European Commission issued a series of recommendations weeks ago urging the states to have the logistics ready when the vaccine is ready, taking into account the challenge that the vaccination campaign may pose, and as the Spanish government plans to do.

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