The EU has reached an agreement with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to buy 300 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine if it becomes available, the European Commission said on Friday, August 14, 2020.
The European Commission plans to buy the doses on behalf of the 27 EU countries should the vaccine be found to be safe and effective.
The purchase agreement also includes an option to buy 100 million doses more.
This comes a day after the commission announced having concluded talks with Johnson & Johnson.
Countries across the world are racing to secure sufficient vaccines for their population.
Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands had already signed an initial contract with AstraZeneca in June for more than 300 million doses of a vaccine that is still in the experimental phase.
Asked whether this was a separate agreement to the one by the EU, spokesperson Vivian Loonela said the commission was “in talks” with member states about their needs.
In July, the European Commission signed a contract with pharmaceutical giant Gilead to buy 30,000 doses of COVID-19 drug Remdesivir, which is used to treat severe cases.