The European Union announced this Wednesday that it agreed to buy 300 million more doses of the vaccine from Modern against COVID-19 and was ‘injecting’ almost 250 million euros (almost 300 million dollars) into efforts to counter the threat of variants of the coronavirus that are spreading across the continent.
The news came hours after Pfizer and BioNTech announced that they had signed an agreement to deliver an additional 200 doses of their vaccine to the block.
The EU Commission indicated that its second contract with Moderna provides for an additional purchase of 150 million doses in 2021 and an option to purchase an additional 150 million in 2022.
If the EU has enough supplies by then, it will consider donating the injections to countries that require it.
“With a portfolio of up to 2.6 billion doses, we will be able to provide vaccines not only to our citizens, but also to our neighbors and partners,” said the head of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.
Von der Leyen and his team have come under intense criticism for their handling of the vaccine-obtaining process.
While the 27-nation bloc began vaccinating its 450 million citizens nearly two months ago, it still lags far behind the UK, the US and other countries in the proportion of population reached.
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