Pfizer and BioNTech announced Wednesday that they have reached an agreement to supply another 200 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine to the European Union.
In a statement, the U.S. and German companies said that the doses come on top of the initially ordered 300 million vaccine doses. There is an opportunity for the EU Executive Commission to request a further 100 million doses.
They said that it is planned to deliver 200 million doses this year, of which an estimated 75 million will be delivered in the second quarter.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was the first of three vaccines to be approved for use in the EU so far, which, compared to countries such as Israel, Britain and the United States, is facing criticism for a slow start to its vaccination programme. The other two vaccines approved by the EU come from Moderna and AstraZeneca.
“We are working relentlessly to support the further deployment of vaccination campaigns in Europe and worldwide through the expansion of production capacity,” said Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer.
Ugur Sahin, CEO of BioNTech, noted that his company will start production this month at its new plant in Marburg, Germany and has expanded its production network with further partners.
“Together with governments, authorities and partners at all levels, we are continuing to assess how we could address an even higher future supply requirement for our vaccines,” he said.
Wednesday’s statement did not provide the deal’s financial details.