Monday, January 24

Omicron: Brussels speeds up vaccine deliveries to EU

(Belga) The European Commission announced on Sunday an agreement with the BioNtech and Pfizer groups to deliver 20 million additional doses of their anti-Covid vaccine to member states in the first half of 2022 in order to facilitate vaccination campaigns.

The European executive said it had also activated a “first option to order more than 200 million doses under the third contract with BioNTech-Pfizer”. “This order also covers vaccines suitable for the Omicron variant, if these vaccines become available,” the commission explained. Deliveries are expected to take place from the second quarter of 2022, she said. “In the first quarter of 2022, BioNtech-Pfizer will deliver 20 million additional doses of vaccine (5 million in January, 5 million in February and 10 million in March). These doses are in addition to the 195 million doses already planned by BioNTech -Pfizer, bringing the total number of deliveries in the first quarter to 215 million, “the Commission added in a statement. An agreement has also been reached with the Moderna group for the delivery of additional doses during the first quarter of 2022, the statement added. “This will prove particularly useful for Member States with a short-term need for additional vaccine doses,” the Commission explained. “The extension of vaccination to all and the administration of booster doses are crucial and urgent,” the heads of state and government said Thursday after their summit in Brussels. “In view of the expected rapid increase in infections from the Omicron variant, this is even more urgent than ever,” the Commission stressed. The German-led executive Ursula von der Leyen assured “to work closely with vaccine manufacturers to further accelerate the delivery of vaccine doses to member states, so that vaccination and booster can be stepped up over the years. weeks and months to come “. According to the European Commission, Omicron could become dominant by mid-January in the EU, when only 67% of the population are fully vaccinated. (Belga)

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