Berlin (dpa) – German vaccine producer BioNTech and its US partner Pfizer are to deliver an additional 200 million doses of their Covid-19 vaccine to the European Union, the two companies announced on Wednesday.
The European Commission, which orders and distributes Covid-19 vaccines on behalf of the bloc’s 27 member states, in January already increased its maximum amount of possible orders for 2021 to 600 million doses.
With the now finalized deal, announced on Wednesday, the EU firmly ordered 500 million doses in total, with the option for the EU executive to request another 100 million.
“We are working relentlessly to support the further roll-out of vaccination campaigns in Europe and worldwide by expanding manufacturing capacity,” Pfizer chief executive Albert Bourla said.
The agreement allows for at least 250 million Europeans to be vaccinated before the end of the year with the drug, he added.
The European Commission has faced criticism for its vaccine purchase strategy, as the roll-out in member states has been sluggish compared to swift progress in countries such as Britain and Israel.