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Pfizer agrees 75 million extra doses to EU

·1-min read

Pfizer and partner BioNTech will deliver 75 million extra doses of their COVID-19 vaccine in the second quarter of the year, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says, confirming information she gave earlier this month.

"BioNTech/Pfizer will deliver 75 million of additional doses in the second quarter of the year - and up to 600 millions in total in 2021," von der Leyen wrote on Twitter after a furore last week over an overall shortfall of doses for the 27-country bloc.

The additional Pfizer-BioNTech doses are part of a deal the EU announced on January 8, and would give the EU nearly half the firms' global output for 2021.

Pfizer has said it can produce up to 1.3 billion doses around the world this year.

The firm has said 500 million doses would be available to the EU by the end of 2021, and an option for another 100 million could be taken up.

Each recipient of the Pfizer vaccine needs two doses to develop maximum protection.

Pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has also pledged to supply an additional nine million doses of its vaccine, developed alongside Oxford University, to the EU during the first quarter.

The EU, whose member states are far behind Israel, Britain and the United States in rolling out vaccines, is scrambling to get supplies of doses for its 450 million people, just as the West's biggest drugmakers slow deliveries to the bloc due to production problems.