In an interview published on the 15th of November by the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, the EP President, David Sassoli claimed: “The European Union has got 6 different vaccines, each of which will ensure 200 million doses”.
According to official European Commission press releases, the EC reached 5 agreements with the pharmaceutical companies related to 5 different vaccine projects so far, ensuring a sufficient amount of vaccine doses for the entire EU population.
- The first agreement, reached with AstraZeneca (SVE-GB) and Oxford University (GB), was signed on the 27th August 2020 and guarantees 300 million doses to the EU Member States, plus other supplementary 100 million doses.
- The second agreement, reached with Sanofi (ITA)- GSK (GB), was signed on the 18th September 2020 and will provide an amount of 300 million doses.
- The third agreement was reached with Janssen Pharmaceutica NV (BEL), one of the Johnson&Johnson societies. This contract will ensure 200 million doses, plus other supplementary 200 million doses.
- The fourth agreement will allow the EU to buy 200 million vaccine doses from BioNTech (DE) and Pfizer (USA). This particular vaccine was recently claimed to be 95% efficient. There’s also the possibility to buy other 100 million doses.
- The fifth agreement guarantees 225 million vaccine doses from CureVac (DE), plus other supplementary 180 million doses.
The last three agreements have been approved by the EU Commission, yet they haven’t been officially signed. The sixth vaccine Sassoli is referring to, instead, is the one produced by the American pharmaceutical company Moderna, with whom the EU Commission already started to discuss an agreement. On the 16th November, after the company announced a 94,5% effectiveness of its vaccine, The EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, declared that an official contract will be hopefully defined soon.
Moreover, the pre-agreement with Moderna includes the purchase of a maximum of 160 million doses (divided into two parts of 80 doses each), which is less than the 200 million doses per vaccine pointed out by Sassoli.
Additional note: the effective number of vaccine doses, pre-ordered by the EU Commission for each EU Member State, is higher than the 446 million citizens of the EU. However, it is possible that part of the doses will be given to the lower-middle-income countries or will be redistributed to other European countries.
Therefore, we can conclude that Sassoli’s statement is mostly true: on the one hand, the EU reached 6 agreements with 6 pharmaceutical companies; on the other hand, only 5 of the agreements officially entered into force and will provide a minimum of 200 doses.
RESEARCH | ARTICLE © Alessandra Petrini, Luigi Scarano, Davide Cavalleri, Francesca Canto, Federica Magistro, Catholic University of Milan, Italy
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