Statement by President von der Leyen on additional doses of BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine
Statement given recently (08 January 2021) by President von der Leyen on additional doses of BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine.
Good morning everyone,
We have a lot of projects for 2021. And that is true, in particular, of the economic recovery. But all that presupposes that we will successfully defeat the pandemic. That means in the first place: We have to vaccinate as many Europeans as we can, as quickly as possible. And that is why I am pleased about a very positive development today, which I would like to share with you.
As you know, we have right now access to 300 million doses of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine. Now the good news: We have now agreed with BioNTech-Pfizer to extend this contract. With the new agreement, we could purchase a total of up to an additional 300 million doses of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine – in other words, this will allow us to double the amount of doses of BioNTech-Pfizer.
And I am particularly pleased that 75 million doses of this order will already be available as of quarter two onwards. The rest would then be delivered in the third and in the fourth quarter of 2021.
The advantage of this good news is: We already have a contract – so no lengthy negotiations anymore. It is a proven vaccine – so the whole authorisation procedure is done. The Member States know it – so they know how to handle it, they know the logistics behind it. And therefore this brings certainty for planning and creates additional momentum for vaccinations throughout Europe and for the neighbourhood.
You already know another piece of good news: On Wednesday, the Commission granted market authorisation for a second vaccine – Moderna. This means, with these two authorised vaccines, we have already secured the amount of doses that we need to vaccinate 380 million Europeans. And this is more than 80% of the European population. And other vaccines will follow in the coming weeks and months.
So the fact remains that Europe will have more than enough vaccines within a reliable timeframe. And this also shows that the path we have taken together in Europe is the right one. We want to do this together and we have combined market power, as we have seen once again today. Together we invested in a broad portfolio of vaccines. That was the right thing to do because, back in the summer, who knew which vaccine would be first over the finish line. We need a broad portfolio. From the outset, the European Commission invested in building up capacity. We can see today how important that was. And now together, with all 27 Member States, we are driving the vaccination process forward.
Because it is also true, as we all know, that we can only be safe if everyone in Europe has access to the vaccine, including our neighbouring countries. No country in Europe can move forward without the others. In Europe, we have a community of values and a common market, and it is only together that we can overcome this profound health emergency and economic crisis. We are stronger when we stand together.
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