agreement guarantees 300 million doses of possible vaccine to EU countries

While launching the leaf-tip competition for a vaccine against Covid-19, several European countries including France have signed an agreement with the drug group AstraZeneca. The goal: to ensure the distribution of 300 million doses of a vaccine to the European Union population when available.

Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands have signed an agreement with the drug group AstraZeneca to guarantee delivery to the EU of 300 million doses of a possible vaccine against the coronavirus, the German government announced on Saturday 13 June. The Italian government refers to the number of 400 million doses.

The four countries have signed an agreement with the group, born in 1999 from the merger of Swedish Astra and British Zeneca, which gives access to all EU member states as soon as a vaccine against Covid-19 is discovered, the German Ministry of Health said.

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

Distribution to all EU member states

The doses “must be distributed to all Member States that wish to participate, depending on their population size,” according to the ministry.

“For the vaccines to be available in large numbers very quickly after their possible approval this year or next, production capacity must be guaranteed by contract now,” he said.

The European Commission had defended the idea on Friday with the EU countries to meet to guarantee privileged access to a future vaccine. In particular, she argued for the establishment of pre-purchase contracts.

A vaccine still far from perfect

When laboratories try to find a vaccine in record time of 12 to 18 months versus several years in normal times, these payment advances would allow them to invest in production capacity, while clinical trials on humans have not yet been completed.

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This commitment would give Member States the right to buy a certain number of doses at a certain price when the vaccine is available, in return for the risk taken in the form of investments.

Larger drug groups are participating in a race to develop a coronavirus virus vaccine, which has so far killed more than 417,000 people and infected more than 7.4 million people worldwide.

AstraZeneca said on Friday that it was waiting for results for September on the effectiveness of the vaccine against the new coronavirus it is working with at the University of Oxford. Tests are being conducted in the UK as well as in Brazil, which has become the epidemic of the pandemic. In total, about ten studies on various vaccines have reached the stage of clinical studies worldwide.

With AFP and Reuters