The European Union hopes to receive 30 million doses of a potential corona vaccine by the end of this year, as part of the deal with British manufacturer AstraZeneca. Based on one dose per person, such a first batch would cover 6 to 7 percent of the EU population.
The European Commission has signed a deal with AstraZeneca for 300 million doses of the potential vaccine, worth $397.8 million. The deal includes the option to purchase an additional 100 million doses.
“We want all the member states to have the same price, but also to have the vaccine at the same time. It means that, for instance, for AstraZeneca, we will have I would say at the end of this year a certain number of doses – hopefully 30 million doses. These doses will be distributed pro-rata among the member states and so on and so forth until we get to a total of the 300 million doses we have negotiated.”, a representative of the European Commission told Reuters.
The 30 million doses are to be distributed among the member states by population until all 300 million have been distributed. Member states themselves determine who can receive a vaccination first.
In June it was announced that the Netherlands, among others, had concluded a contract with AstraZeneca. The company has also entered into similar agreements with the United States, United Kingdom and India, among others. The company says the nonprofit vaccines will be available during the pandemic.
AstraZeneca’s vaccine was developed in collaboration with the University of Oxford and is called AZD1222. The first test results were published in July in the journal The Lancet and were positive. “It is safe and triggers a response from the immune system,” the researchers said. In addition to AstraZeneca, the EU is also in talks with manufacturers Johnson & Johnson, Sanofi, Moderna and CureVac for possible vaccines.
The Commission official said it is also hopeful to bridge a small gap in talks with Pfizer and BionTech for the vaccine candidate that they are developing together.
Update: How does society feel about a vaccine?
Today, a new poll from market research firm Ipsos shows that there are significant differences between countries when it comes to people’s willingness to get vaccinated against the coronavirus once there is a vaccine.
Many people see a vaccine as a way to return to a life as normal as possible. The World Health Organization (WHO) is monitoring more than 170 vaccine candidates, of which nine are in an advanced testing phase. The effectiveness of a vaccine stands or falls with people’s willingness to be vaccinated. And it is not always the same size everywhere, according to a study by Ipsos, commissioned by the World Economic Forum. The main reason is that people who do not want a vaccine are mainly concerned about possible side effects. The difference are enormous, as in China 97% seems to be positive about a vaccine, while in Russia almost half of the people seems to be sceptical about a vaccine.
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