The European Commission has approved its seventh Advanced Purchase Agreement (APA) with a pharmaceutical company to ensure access to a potential vaccine against COVID-19 in Q4 of 2021 and in 2022.
Under this contract, Member States will be able to purchase up to 100 million doses of the Novavax vaccine, with an option for 100 million additional doses over the course of 2021, 2022, and 2023, once reviewed and approved by EMA as safe and effective. Member States will also be able to donate vaccines to lower and middle-income countries or to re-direct them to other European countries.
The new contract complements an already broad portfolio of vaccines to be produced in Europe, including the contracts with AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSK, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, BioNtech-Pfizer, CureVac, Moderna and the concluded exploratory talks with Valneva. It represents another key step towards ensuring that Europe is well prepared to face the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As new coronavirus variants are spreading in Europe and around the world, this new contract with a company that is already testing its vaccine successfully against these variants is an additional safeguard for the protection of our population. It further strengthens our broad vaccine portfolio, to the benefit of Europeans and our partners worldwide.”Ursula von der Leyen
Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “Vaccinations in the EU are advancing and we are closer to our target of 70% fully vaccinated citizens by the end of summer. Our new agreement with Novavax expands our vaccine portfolio to include one more protein-based vaccine, a platform showing promise in clinical trials. We will continue working tirelessly to ensure that our vaccines continue to reach citizens in Europe and around the world, to end the pandemic as quickly as possible.”
Novavax is a biotechnology company developing next-generation vaccines for serious infectious diseases. Their COVID-19 vaccine is already under rolling review by EMA in view of a potential market authorisation.
The Commission 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 the whole of the EU.
The European Commission presented on 17 June a plan 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.
In view of the current and new escape SARS-CoV-2 variants, the Commission and the Member States are negotiating with companies already in the EU vaccine portfolio new agreements that would allow to purchase rapidly adapted vaccines in sufficient quantities to reinforce and prolong immunity.
In order to purchase the new vaccines, Member States are allowed to use the React EU package, one of the largest programmes under the new instrument Next Generation EU that continues and extends the crisis response and crisis repair measures.