The European Commission has announced that it concluded exploratory talks with Johnson & Johnson to purchase a potential vaccine against COVID-19.
Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said in a statement on Thursday that the talks are intended to result in an Advance Purchase Agreement, which could enable all European Union (EU) member states to purchase the vaccine, as well as to donate to lower and middle-income countries or re-direct to countries in the European Economic Area (EEA), reports Xinhua news agency.
The statement said that the contractual framework would facilitate an initial purchase of 200 million doses on behalf of all EU member states, and could further purchase an additional 200 million vaccine doses.
Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, said “our citizens’ lives and our economy” need a safe and effective vaccine.
She said the talks with the American pharmaceutical corporation have brought the union closer to this target.
In July, the EU announced it had concluded exploratory talks with French pharmaceutical company Sanofi aiming for a deal that could secure 300 million doses of the company’s COVID-19 vaccine for Europeans once it is developed and proven to be safe and effective against the coronavirus.
Europe has so far registered a total of 3,147,645 coronavirus cases, with 208,549 deaths, according to figures by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.