The European Commission is signing new vaccine deals with Pfizer and a number of other pharmaceutical companies for “future global health emergencies” that will allow pharmaceutical companies to “rapidly start production” in the event of a new emergency.
The new agreements differ from previous ones on covid vaccines and covers mRNA, vector and protein-based vaccines, Reuters reports. The reason for the new contracts is that Europe needs to be better prepared for future health crises.
The agreements require companies to be ready to respond to a crisis by keeping their facilities up to date and monitoring their supply chains, “including stockpiling where necessary,” the Commission said in a statement. In other words, the companies would “rapidly start production” in case of an emergency.
Pfizer will be responsible for producing mRNA vaccines, Spain’s Reig Jofre (RJFE.MC) and Laboratorios Hipra SA will produce protein-based vaccines, while Bilthoven Biologicals B.V. of the Netherlands will provide vector vaccines.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has long been keen on buying from pharmaceutical giants, including up to 2.4 billion doses of Pfizer’s criticized Comirnaty vaccine. Exactly how much of EU citizens’ money was spent on this was long kept from EU citizens, but leaked documents later revealed that it was €15.50 per dose for one of the shipments.
It is not clear what financial arrangements are included in the new agreement reached by EU leaders.