By September next year, the total distribution of the initial 200 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine that has been developed by Pfizer and BioNTech would be completed across the European Union, said reports quoting a spokesman for the EU Commission on Monday.
This somewhat long drawn out timetable that had not been made public previously, is confirmation that the 217 country bloc will need to secure and place orders with other Covid-19 vaccine makers in order to achieve its aim of speed up the mass inoculation program for about 450 million residents that will bring an end to the pandemic.
On Sunday, healthcare workers and vulnerable people were inoculated in most of the countries of the EU using the vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech which is the only vaccine that the health regulators of the EU have so far authorised for use. This vaccine from Pfizer and BioNTech reuiqres ot be stored and distributed at ultra low temperature and an individual will be required to take two doses of the vaccine to get inoculated from the novel coronavirus.
“Distribution of the full 200 million doses is scheduled to be completed by September 2021,” the spokesman told the media in an emailed statement.
There were negotiations currently going on for securing the delivery of an additional 100 million doses of the vaccine which are optional under the contract sealed with the two companies, the spokesperson added which confirmed previous reports in the media on the issue.
The timetable for the additional doses is unclear.
Most of the contracts for supply of Covid-19 vaccines that the EU has managed to strike with vaccine developers and pharma companies also foresee that the most of the deliveries of the agreed vaccine numbers would be completed by the end of next year.
For a total of nearly 2 billion doses of Covid-19 vacccines, advance purchase agreements with Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Sanofi and CureVac have been signed by the EU.
A decision on whether to approve the Cvoid-19 vaccine developed by the United States based pharma company Moderna will be taken by the drug regulator of the bloc on January 6. The regulator has also said that it could receive applications for approval of the Cvodi-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca, in partnership with the Cambridge University, and another from Johnson & Johnson within the first quarter of next year.
First deliveries of those vaccines could start by March next year according to some of the agreed contracts, added the EU Commission spokesman.
(Adapted from FinancialPost.com)