The European Union has bought a new batch of Pfizer vaccines against coronavirus, as announced on Friday by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen. The extension of the contract with Pfizer/BioNTech means 300 million more doses of their vaccine will be acquired. Spanish Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, specified that the State has a 10% share. Therefore, approximately 30 million doses.
The total number of Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines that the EU will have to purchase through 2021 is thus skewed to 600 million. Some 75 million of these new purchases will be available from the second quarter of the year. The rest will be received during the third and fourth quarter of 2021. With all the contracts signed so far by the Commission, EU citizens have 2.3 billion doses at their disposal. "Not only for the European Union, but also for our neighbours," said Von der Leyen.
The Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is currently being administered throughout the state, at a higher rate in recent days than was originally recorded, with some logistical problems. Of the total of 743,925 doses distributed to the autonomous communities, 207,323 had been administered by this Thursday, almost 28%. Illa has reiterated in the press conference this morning that a "cruising speed" will be achieved in the vaccination and the Minister of Territorial Policy, Carolina Darias, who is outlined as a possible replacement of Illa in the Health Ministry when he leaves office to campaign for the PSC in the Catalan elections, has stressed the need to ensure that the number of vaccinations is higher than the number of infections.
To achieve this, the key is to make the logistics work, because the availability of vaccines seems assured. Along with the regular arrival of Pfizer/BioNTech doses - some 350,000 a week so far - next week will see the addition of the Moderna vaccine, licensed by the European Medicines Agency and the European Commission on Wednesday. This Thursday Illa already explained that by mid-February some 600,000 doses will have been acquired and will also be distributed equally amonst the regions.