Europe to get 4 mln extra Pfizer shots this month

The European Commission has struck a deal with drugmakers Pfizer and BioNTech for four million extra COVID-19 vaccine doses to be delivered this month.

The shots for two million people, in addition to planned deliveries, aim to ease border movement and tackle virus hotspots and aggressive new variants, it said on Wednesday (March 10).

It's a rare piece of good news following a shortfall from Pfizer, and as AstraZeneca has struggled to meet agreed supply.

The extra doses will be used particularly in border regions, to restore free movement of goods and people, the Commission said.

Pfizer and German partner BioNTech's vaccine, which won EU approval in December, has proven highly effective against all known variants of the coronavirus, the Commission added.

It said this month's boost in supply is down to the successful expansion of manufacturing capacity in Europe.

Pfizer temporarily cut deliveries to the EU in January due to construction work at a Belgian plant.