The European Commission, the European Union’s administrative branch, announced Monday a deal with to purchase 405 million doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine from German bio-tech company CureVac.
The announcement comes just days after EU officials announced a similar deal with German company BioNTech and U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer for an initial 300 million doses of the vaccine candidate they jointly produced, which, they say, has proven 90 percent effective against COVID-19 in late-stage testing.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told reporters the deal with CureVac is, of course, conditional on their vaccine proving to be safe and effective.
Von der Leyen said the fifth CureVac is fifth company the alliance has contracted with a for its COVID-19 vaccine portfolio.
She said they are already working on a deal with U.S. pharmaceutical company Moderna, for a sixth contract. On Monday, Moderna announced testing showed its vaccine candidate to also be better than 90 percent effective.
Von der Leyen said the European Commission hopes to have finalize their contract with Moderna soon. She said all the vaccines must independently tested by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) before they will be accepted. She said, “We do not know at this stage which vaccine will end up being safe and effective... And this is why we need to have a broad portfolio of vaccines based on very different technologies."
European nations continue to see a surge in COVID-19 cases, and many have implemented at least partial nationwide lockdowns until the end of the month.