EU agrees to buy 300 mln doses of Pfizer vaccine

The European Commission said Wednesday (November 11) it has sealed a deal with Pfizer and BioNTech to buy up to 300 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine candidate.

Earlier this week, Pfizer announced that the experimental shot it developed with its German partner was more than 90% effective.

It made them the first drugmakers to show successful interim data from a large-scale clinical trial of a coronavirus vaccine.

EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides urged caution, however:

"Even when a safe and effective vaccine is there and available, there will be need to continue with these measures until we are able to reach significant parts of the population so hope is there, but I also want to make sure that we send the right messages to everyone that we need to continue to take the measures that have been put into place."

Under the deal, the 27 EU countries could buy 200 million doses - with an option for another 100 million.

But they’ll only be able to make the purchases once the vaccine is authorised as effective and safe by the bloc's drug regulator.

The EU has also signed supply deals with AstraZeneca, Sanofi and Johnson & Johnson for their experimental COVID-19 shots, and is in talks with other suppliers too.

U.S. firm Moderna said Wednesday it was on track to report early data from a late-stage trial of its vaccine later this month, and could file for U.S. emergency use authorization in December.