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EU talks with Valvena could secure 60m vaccines

17 January 2021, 21:43 CET
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EU talks with Valvena could secure 60m vaccines

Coronavirus vaccine - Photo © European Union

(BRUSSELS) - The European Commission concluded exploratory talks with the French biotech company Valneva Tuesday, with a view to purchasing its potential vaccine against COVID-19, manufactured in Scotland.

The envisaged contract with Valneva would provide for the possibility for all EU Member States to purchase jointly some 30 million doses, with options to buy a further 30 million extra doses.

The conclusion of exploratory talks with Valneva comes in addition to an already secured broad portfolio of vaccines to be produced in Europe which includes contracts already signed with AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSK, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, BioNtech-Pfizer, CureVac, and Moderna and exploratory talks concluded with Novavax.

This diversified vaccines portfolio will ensure Europe is well prepared for vaccination, once the vaccines are proven to be safe and effective, as is already the case for BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna, recently authorised in the EU. Member States are able to donate vaccines to lower and middle-income countries or to re-direct it to other European countries.

"With this eighth vaccine, we are adding to our already broad and diversified range of vaccines in our portfolio," said EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides: "By doing this, we can maximise our chances of making sure that all citizens can have access to safe and effective of vaccinations by the end of 2021."

Valneva is a European biotechnology company developing an inactivated virus vaccine. This is a traditional vaccine technology, used for 60-70 years, with established methods and a high level of safety. Most of the influenza vaccines and many childhood vaccines use this technology. This is currently the only inactivated vaccine candidate in clinical trials against COVID-19 in Europe.

The EU executive, with the support of EU Member States, says it has taken a decision to support this vaccine based on a sound scientific assessment, the technology used, the company's experience in vaccine development and its production capacity to supply all EU Member States.

The Commission presented on 17 June a European strategy to accelerate the development, manufacturing and deployment of effective and safe vaccines against COVID-19. In return for the right to buy a specified number of vaccine doses in a given timeframe, the Commission finances part of the upfront costs faced by vaccines producers in the form of Advance Purchase Agreements. Funding provided is considered as a down-payment on the vaccines that will actually be purchased by Member States.

EU Vaccines Strategy

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