File photo of the Johnson & Johnson logo.
May 29, 2019. . / Brendan McDermid (Brendan McDermid /)

BRUSSELS, Aug 13 (.) – The European Commission said on Thursday it had concluded preliminary talks with US drugmaker Johnson & Johnson to buy 200 million doses of a possible vaccine for COVID-19 in advance.

The EU executive arm said this could pave the way for the signing of a contract that would allow the countries of the bloc to buy the vaccines or donate them to developing nations.

The Commission explained that once the vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective against COVID-19 it would have a contractual framework for the initial purchase of 200 million doses on behalf of all EU states. It could also buy up to 200 million additional doses of the vaccine.

Johnson & Johnson, through its Belgian subsidiary Janssen, « will now enter into contractual negotiations with the European Commission, » the firm said in a statement, confirming the volumes indicated by the Commission.

« If regulatory approval for the company’s vaccine is received, the Commission is expected to facilitate a process for the allocation of doses among member states, » Johnson & Johnson added.

J&J; It could produce up to 1 billion doses of its vaccine by the end of 2021, a company executive told . on Tuesday. Your vaccine will likely be given as a single injection, he added.

. exclusively reported in June that the US company was in advanced talks with the EU for the supply of its vaccine under development for COVID-19.

(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio. Edited in Spanish by Rodrigo Charme)