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Brussels announces major extension to Pfizer deal with 25% more shots to be delivered in Q2

Brussels announces major extension to Pfizer deal with 25% more shots to be delivered in Q2
The head of the European Commission has announced a new agreement with pharmaceuticals company Pfizer to deliver more Covid shots, adding that Brussels backs “proven” vaccine technology in the fight against the virus.

In a press conference and a series of tweets on Wednesday, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced that EU states would receive 50 million more Covid-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer than planned during the second quarter of 2021. 

The new Pfizer deal will see a 25% increase in doses of the jab delivered to the EU over the coming weeks by the American pharmaceuticals firm, totalling 250 million shots. She added that negotiations for a third contract were underway with the company and will “foresee the delivery of 1.8 billion additional vaccine doses in 2021-2023.” 

Von der Leyen also said that all “vaccines & all essential components will be based in the EU.” 

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During her comments on Wednesday, von der Leyen underlined the EU’s commitment to “focus on the technologies that have proven their worth,” in what may have been a reference to the fact that the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines use a different type of vaccine tech to the Pfizer and Moderna jabs. 

Wednesday also marked the administering of the 100 millionth Covid-19 jab in the EU, which von der Leyen described as “a milestone we can be proud of.” Slow to get off the ground, the bloc’s vaccine rollout has been marked by delayed deliveries and a lengthy – and quite public – spat with AstraZeneca.

The EU’s beleaguered vaccination campaign received a fresh setback in recent days after the rollout of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was suspended following reports of a small number of cases of blood clotting among recipients in the US. The jab uses similar technology to the AstraZeneca vaccine. 

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