Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are set to increase supplies of their respective COVID-19 vaccines to the European Union (EU), according to two separate announcements detailing the new agreements this week.
In a statement published on Wednesday (17 February), Pfizer/BioNTech announced that they have signed a new agreement with the European Commission (EC) for the supply of an additional 200 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine, marketed as Comirnaty in the EU.
Of those agreed doses, around 75 million are to be supplied in the second quarter of 2021, the companies said.
In total, the number of Comirnaty doses to be delivered to EU member states by the end of 2021 is now 500 million.
The EU also has an option to increase this to 600 million doses, as part of the new agreement with Pfizer/BioNTech.
By the end of 2021, Pfizer/BioNTech are aiming to manufacture approximately two billion does of their vaccine globally, if all goes to plan with regards to their continuous process improvements, expansion at current facilities and addition of new suppliers and contract manufacturers.
“Broad access to well-tolerated and highly efficacious vaccines is essential to halt the pandemic. We have taken additional steps to expand our manufacturing capacity to two billion doses in 2021,” said Ugur Sahin, chief executive officer and co-founder of BioNTech.
“We will initiate production at our Marburg [Germany] facility this month and have strengthened our manufacturing network with additional partners. We are continuing to evaluate, together with governments, authorities and partners at all levels, how we might address an even higher future supply requirement for our vaccines,” he added.
Separately, the EC also announced on Wednesday (17 February) that it has signed a new deal with Moderna for an additional 150 million doses of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine, to be delivered in 2021.
Under the terms of the deal, the EU will also have an option to secure a further 150 million doses in 2022.
“[This new contract with Moderna] marks another step towards our objective of providing swift access to safe and effective vaccinations to citizens in Europe and beyond over the course of this year,” said Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety.
“The contract is important not only for the short term needs of the EU, but also for our future work to limit the rapid spread of new variants,” she added.
Following the new supply deals, the EU now has access to 2.6 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses from a range of companies in addition to Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna – including AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson (Janssen), GlaxoSmithKline/Sanofi and Curevac.