EU: Another 50 million Biontech vaccine doses by the end of June

Corona pandemic EU: Another 50 million Biontech vaccine doses by the end of June

Corona vaccine from Biontech / Pfizer

A corona vaccine vial from Biontech / Pfizer. Photo: Sven Hoppe / dpa

© dpa-infocom GmbH

The Biontech / Pfizer corona vaccine is injected most often in the EU. Now Brussels is announcing another early delivery. That could help partially plug another hole.

The manufacturers Biontech and Pfizer want to deliver an additional 50 million doses of corona vaccine to Germany and the other EU countries by the end of June. This was announced by the EU Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels on Wednesday.

It is a delivery that will be brought forward from the fourth quarter. In the second quarter from April to June, a total of 250 million doses of vaccine would come from Biontech / Pfizer, said von der Leyen.

The delivery will be distributed to the 27 EU countries according to the proportion of the population, she added. For Germany this is 18,6 percent. The Federal Republic of Germany can therefore expect a good nine million cans from the additional delivery.

This could partially offset potential failures in Johnson & Johnson's vaccine. The US manufacturer had postponed its delivery to the EU countries on Tuesday. The background to this are reports of sinus vein thrombosis. The group is investigating the cases, and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) is also examining them. It is unclear when deliveries will resume in Europe. Johnson & Johnson should deliver 55 million cans in the second quarter. The drug is only given once, while other vaccines are given twice.

Von der Leyen also announced negotiations with Biontech / Pfizer for the delivery of a further 1,8 billion vaccine doses for the period from 2021 to 2023. These should be used for refresher courses and vaccinations for children. Part of the agreements should be a full EU manufacture, not just of the vaccine, but also of all the essential ingredients, as von der Leyen said. They hope that the negotiations will be concluded quickly.

Von der Leyen emphasized that they wanted to focus on vaccine technologies that had proven their worth. That speaks in favor of mRNA vaccines such as those produced by Biontech / Pfizer. Astrazeneca and Johnson & Johnson, on the other hand, use a different mode of action for their vaccines with the help of so-called adenoviruses.

Von der Leyen also announced that the EU has now passed the 100 million vaccination threshold. 26 million people are now fully vaccinated with two doses. "This is a milestone that we can be proud of," said the German politician. However, the announcement by Johnson & Johnson also shows that there are still many factors that could disrupt the vaccination campaign. The Commission is doing everything possible to increase the supply of vaccines in the coming weeks and months.