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AstraZeneca to supply Europe with 400 million COVID-19 vaccine doses

Published on 15/06/20 at 10:52am
Photo by Gwan Kho

Multiple European governments have been involved in a deal with AstraZeneca to access a supply of the British drugmakers' potential vaccine against the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The contract is for up to 400 million doses of the vaccine developed in collaboration with the University of Oxford. It is the first contract for vaccines signed by Europe’s Inclusive Vaccines Allaince (IVA), a group formed by France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

This organization will work with the European Commission and other European nations to help them access the vaccine.

While the IVA will pay the total amount for the vaccines, the EU member states will be allowed to join the scheme for the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine under the same conditions.

Pascal Soriot’s, AstraZeneca’s Chief Executive, spoke to the press about the deal and said: “This will ensure that hundreds of millions of people in Europe will have access to this vaccine, of course if it works and we will know that by the end of summer.”

Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has approved the start of Phase 3 trials of the vaccine after studies showed sufficient efficacy and safety. Europe has not yet secured a vaccine like many other parts of the world.

The Italian Health Minister, Robert Speranza, said: “Many countries in the world have already secured vaccines, Europe has not yet. The rapid coordinated action of a group of member states will create added value for all EU citizens in this crisis.”

The team at the University of Oxford began working on vaccine in January, with it being tested on humans in April. Currently, a Phase 3 trial is underway with 510 healthy volunteers between 18 and 55 years old. The UK government recently announced a £84 million in new funding but also warned a coronavirus vaccine may never actually be produced.

Conor Kavanagh

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