The European Commission signed a new contract with pharmaceutical companies BioNTech and Pfizer to buy up to 1.8 billion more vaccines, the EU institution announced on Thursday. The EU agreed to purchase 900 million COVID-19 vaccines for the period of 2021-2023, with an option to buy another 900 million from the pharma companies, the European Commission said in a statement. The contract also assures that the producers deliver jabs effective against new variants of the coronavirus.
Earlier this month, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that the new contract with BioNTech and Pfizer aimed at ensuring booster shots for adults and jabs for minors.
The deal allows EU member states to resell or donate jabs.
BioNTech/Pfizer committed to delivering in total 600 million vaccine doses to the bloc this year.
So far, 200 million shots were given in the EU which has a population of 450 million.
The bloc aims at vaccinating 70% of the adult population by July.