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EU Expects to Get More Than a Billion COVID Shots by September

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union expects to have received more than a billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of September from four drugmakers, a document presented to EU leaders on Tuesday shows.The document, seen by Reuters and prepared by the European Commission, shows the EU is confident of having enough vaccines to immunise its entire eligible population by that date, well beyond the initial goal of inoculating 70% of the adult population by the end of the summer.webmd.ads2.defineAd({id:’ads-pos-1122′,pos: 1122});More precisely, the EU expects to get 413 million doses in the second quarter, and another 529 million in the third. It received 106 million vaccines in the first quarter.By the end of the year, the EU expects to receive another 452 million doses, for a total of 1.5 billion.

webmd.ads2.defineAd({id:’ads-pos-520′,pos: 520});The estimates take into account only vaccines from four drugmakers: Pfizer-BionTech, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and Moderna.

webmd.ads2.defineAd({id:’ads-pos-1520′,pos: 1520});They exclude doses from German biotech firm CureVac and French drugmaker Sanofi, which have signed contracts with the EU for hundreds of millions of doses but are struggling to develop their vaccines and get them approved by EU regulators.The numbers are in line with public commitments and previous announcements, but also include previously unknown targets for the second half of the year.The EU has also said it plans to share at least 100 million doses this year with poorer nations outside the bloc.

webmd.ads2.defineAd({id:’ads-pos-141′,pos: 141});EU leaders meeting on Tuesday confirmed that commitment in a joint document but did not make it more ambitious. Some vaccines could also be used for a third shot or against variants.World Health Organization (WHO) director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus thanked the EU for its commitment, but added: “We need hundreds of millions more doses.”The COVAX programme for distributing vaccines around the world, backed by the WHO and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, has so far shipped only about 70 million vaccines of the 2 billion planned for this year, as wealthy nations have reserved most of those available.LION’S SHARE

webmd.ads2.defineAd({id:’ads-pos-420′,pos: 420});Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine accounts for more than half the supplies in the second quarter of this year and for nearly 40% of total deliveries in the third quarter.The document shows that the two companies will deliver 200 million doses in the July-September period, nearly completing their contracted commitment to supply 600 million.The two drugmakers are also expected to deliver roughly 200 million doses more in the fourth quarter, the bulk of which would come from a third contract for up to 1.8 billion doses signed in May, which runs until 2023.A spokesman for Pfizer declined to comment on the numbers cited in the EU document.Deliveries in the second half of the year also include several million from AstraZeneca, even though it had been required to deliver all its 300 million contracted doses by the end of June.The company said in March it could hope to deliver only 100 million doses to the EU by the end of June due to production problems and export restrictions.The EU document is based on the company’s estimates rather than on the EU request to deliver 120 million doses by the end of the second quarter.That request was made by EU lawyers in a Brussels court this month. A ruling is expected next month.

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Reuters Health Information © 2021 

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