Sat | May 8, 2021

EU to purchase 100 million more vaccine doses

Published:Monday | April 19, 2021 | 9:32 AM
A pupil takes a coronavirus antigen rapid test before the start of lessons at the Katharina Henoth Comprehensive School in Cologne, Germany, Monday, April 19, 2021. After a week of lessons at home, many children and adolescents in North Rhine-Westphalia have been able to return to their schools for face-to-face lessons since Monday. (Marius Becker/dpa via AP)

BERLIN — Pharmaceutical company BioNTech and its United States partner Pfizer say they will provide 100 million more doses of their coronavirus vaccine to the European Union this year.

The two companies said Monday that the 27-nation group’s executive Commission exercised an option to purchase the additional doses, bringing the total number of shots to be delivered to the EU in 2021 to 600 million.

The announcement offers a much-needed boost to the EU’s sluggish and much-criticised vaccine rollout.

Sean Marett, the chief business officer of BioNTech, said deliveries of the company’s mRNA-based vaccine this year will cover two-thirds of the EU population.

The bloc has so far administered about 105 million shots to its population of some 450 million.

Most vaccines require two shots to provide full immunisation.

Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at onlinefeedback@gleanerjm.com or editors@gleanerjm.com.