“The envisaged contract with Sanofi would provide for an option for all EU Member States to purchase the vaccine,” the European Commission said in a statement.
It added that “once a vaccine has proven to be safe and effective against COVID-19, the Commission would have a contractual framework in place for the purchase of 300 million doses, on behalf of all EU member states.”
The European Commission, equipped with an emergency fund of EUR 2 billion (USD 2.4 billion), aims to strike similar deals with up to six pharmaceutical companies to secure vaccines for its 450 million citizens in a bid to fight COVID-19, which has now killed over 685,000 people worldwide.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that "while we do not know today which vaccine will work best in the end, Europe is investing in a diversified portfolio of promising vaccines, based on various types of technologies."
"This increases our chances to obtain rapidly an effective remedy against the virus. A vaccine would be a truly global good," she added.
Sanofi is currently working on two vaccines, including one in partnership with GlaxoSmithKline, Reuters news agency reported.
The companies said the vaccine would be manufactured in France, Belgium, Germany and Italy.
Sanofi expects to start clinical trials in September.
Active coronavirus cases soar in Poland, officials said, with 548 new infections reported on Sunday.
On Saturday, the country reported its highest number of new cases for a third day in a row.
A total of 46,894 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Poland since early March, with 1,731 deaths from the COVID-19 respiratory disease so far.
Source: PAP, Reuters