Omicron: Brussels speeds up vaccine deliveries to EU – Reuters

The European Commission announced on Sunday an agreement with the groups BioNtech and Pfizer to deliver an additional 20 million doses of its anti-Covid vaccine to member states in the first half of 2022 in order to facilitate vaccination campaigns.

The Brussels executive specified that he had also activated a “first option to order more than 200 million doses under the third contract with BioNTech-Pfizer.”

“This order also covers suitable vaccines for the Omicron variant, if these vaccines are available,” the commission explained. Deliveries are expected to take place starting in the second quarter of 2022, he said.

“In the first quarter of 2022, BioNtech-Pfizer will deliver 20 million additional doses of vaccine (5 million in January, 5 million in February and 10 million in March). These doses are in addition to the 195 million doses already planned by BioNTech -Pfizer, which brings the total number of deliveries in the first quarter to 215 million, “said the Brussels executive in a press release.

An agreement has also been reached with the Moderna group for the delivery of additional doses during the first quarter of 2022, the statement added.

“This will be particularly useful for Member States with a short-term need for additional vaccine doses,” explained the Commission.

“The extension of vaccination to all and the administration of booster doses are crucial and urgent,” the heads of state and government said on Thursday after their summit in Brussels.

“In view of the expected rapid increase in Omicron variant infections, this is even more urgent than ever,” the Commission stressed.

The Brussels executive led by Germany’s Ursula von der Leyen said “to work closely with vaccine manufacturers to further accelerate the delivery of vaccine doses to Member States, so that vaccination and booster shots can be intensified for weeks. and months to come. “

According to the European Commission, Omicron could become dominant in mid-January in the EU, when only 67% of the population is fully vaccinated.

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