EU to Take Extra 100 Million Pfizer Doses in Covid Vaccine Push

The European Union will trigger an option to buy an additional 100 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE as cases surge across the region.

The move will bring the total to 300 million doses under an earlier agreement between the 27-member bloc and the companies. More vaccine will follow, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a tweet.

Shots from AstraZeneca Plc and the University of Oxford are also anticipated, though it may be a while before they’re approved. The European Medicines Agency hasn’t received enough information to review the Astra-Oxford vaccine, the regulator said Tuesday.

The companies have submitted data as part of a rolling review but haven’t sought clearance for the shot, meaning the agency has yet to schedule a review meeting for the vaccine, a spokeswoman said by email. The EMA confirmed comments by Deputy Executive Director Noel Wathion to a Belgian newspaper, in which he said that means the vaccine is unlikely to be approved in January.

The EMA committee that oversees vaccine reviews is examining another shot, from Moderna Inc., with a key meeting set for Jan. 6.

EU countries started immunizing people over the weekend with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, less than a week after the shot was cleared for use.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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