EU agrees to potential 1.8 billion-dose purchase of Pfizer jab

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union (EU) cemented its support for Pfizer-BioNTech and its novel COVID-19 vaccine technology yesterday by agreeing to a massive contract extension for a potential 1.8 billion doses through 2023.

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tweeted that her office “has just approved a contract for a guaranteed 900 million doses (+900 million options)”.

Yesterday’s announcement underscores the confidence the EU has shown in the technology used for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is different from that behind the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

America’s Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech have already said that they would provide the EU with an extra 50 million doses in the second quarter of this year, making up for faltering deliveries of AstraZeneca.