Belgium, (Brussels Morning Newspaper) The European Commission and US pharmaceutical company Moderna have modified their agreement on COVID-19 vaccine deliveries.
According to the new agreement, Moderna will delay some deliveries planned for Q2 this year to better fit the needs of EU member states, the Commission noted in a statement on Thursday.
In addition, if the company develops a vaccine against coronavirus variants that are in circulation and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) approves it, some doses originally planned for delivery in Q2 may be delivered in autumn and winter this year.
The EC pointed out that the agreement allows delivery of any vaccines against future variants after they receive EMA approval, stressing that this will allow bloc members to administer the shots if epidemiological trends take a turn for the worse later this year.
Stella Kyriakides, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, stated that the agreement with Moderna is the second deal with pharmaceutical companies aimed at aligning supply agreements with demand in EU member states.
“I very much welcome today’s agreement on more flexible delivery arrangements for the Moderna vaccine to respond to our member states’ needs,” she noted and concluded “we continue to closely monitor the situation and stand ready to provide further support to member states’ national vaccination campaigns.”
More deals coming
The Commission pointed out that it is cooperating closely with suppliers and member states to address pandemic needs and added that it plans to “finalise further such agreements in the near future.”
The body reminded that the EU invested heavily in production of COVID-19 vaccines in 2020, stressing the importance of having vaccines available as early as possible.
It added that the investments were made before it was clear whether any of the new vaccines would be effective.
“These actions taken at risk in 2020 have clearly paid off, as the development of vaccines has been quite successful: of the eight vaccines in the EU’s vaccines portfolio, five have received marketing authorisation, two are still under review, and only one has been terminated before reaching further stages,” the body noted.
The deals with vaccine makers gave EU member states access to safe and effective vaccines, the body stated, stressing that this saved lives and mitigated “the impact of the pandemic upon social and economic life.”