They’re part of the total order of 460 million doses the Commission has placed with Moderna on behalf of the Twenty-Seven since the pandemic began.
The European Commission has reserved 15 million additional doses of the new version of its anti-Covid vaccine with the American biotech Moderna, modified in particular according to the Omicron variant.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA), the regulator of the sector, announced in mid-June that it had started testing this new version, which aims to target both the original strain of SARS CoV-2 and that of the Omicron variant, including sub-variants have recently led to an increase in infections.
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Changes in delivery schedules
However, the agreement reached by the Commission remains subject to the green light of European regulators, “subject to market approval (in the EU) within a timeframe that would allow these doses to be used for vaccination this autumn and winter,” according to a press release. Those 15 million are part of the total order of 460 million doses the Commission has placed with Moderna on behalf of the Twenty-Seven since the pandemic began. The lab uses messenger RNA technology.
In early June, the European executive announced that it had reached an agreement with the New York-based biotech, according to which “part” of the doses expected to be delivered in the second quarter could not be delivered until September in the form of vaccines boosters adapted to SARS- CoV-2 variants, including Omicron. Brussels announced on Tuesday that it has reached an agreement with Moderna to adjust the schedule again, this time by postponing the delivery of cans originally scheduled for delivery this summer to September and autumn and then winter.
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This aims to “better respond to the needs of member states” this autumn and winter, “when they are more likely to need additional supplies for their national (vaccination) campaigns and to meet their international solidarity commitments,” the Commission said. “The agreement also guarantees that if one or more adapted vaccines (to the variants) receive marketing authorization, Member States can choose to receive these adapted vaccines under the current contract,” specifies the European executive.