AstraZeneca deal to supply European Union with 300 million COVID-19 vaccine doses

Marco Green
June 15, 2020

The development of a vaccine could be successfully completed by the end of the year, German government sources told AFP.

The alliance forged by Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands to speed up the production of a coronavirus vaccine is set to take delivery by the end of 2020 of a vaccine being tested by the University of Oxford.

De Jonge said that the risks attached to making such an investment, before the vaccine had been proved to work, were not outweighed by the social importance and that the four countries, united as the Inclusive Vaccines Alliance, are still in talks with other developers.

Oxford University last month announced the start of a Phase II/III UK trial of AZD1222 in about 10,000 adult volunteers.

The European Commission defended the idea on Friday that EU countries should join up to guarantee privileged access to a future vaccine, arguing strongly for the establishment of advance purchase contracts.

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 under way. It plans to produce an additional 1 billion doses under a deal with the Serum Institute of India.

The deal, announced on Saturday, could potentially rise to 400 million, but they "must be distributed to all member states that want to participate, depending on the size of their population", said the German ministry.

"In order for the vaccines to be available in large numbers very quickly after their possible approval this year or next year, production capacities must be guaranteed by contract now".

It is also building in parallel a number of supply chains across the world to bring global access to the vaccine at no profit for two billion doses.

German Minister of Health, Jens Spahn, said that "the swift and coordinated action of a group of member states" would see that "all European Union citizens" would benefit.

Investments such as those by European Union member states could be considered a risk but the commitment means for them that they will have the right to purchase inoculations at a particular price once made available.

Other companies, including U.S. biotech company Moderna and French pharmaceutical company Sanofi, are pursuing the creation of a coronavirus vaccine - which is the only possible way to return safely to "normal life" in the post-COVID-19 world.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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