EU in J&J talks for 200m doses of COVID-19 vaccine

Ursula von der Leyen

The European Commission said on Thursday it concluded exploratory talks with Johnson & Johnson to purchase a potential vaccine against COVID-19.

“This is following the first positive steps with Sanofi-GSK on 31 July,” said the Commission.

“The envisaged contract with Johnson & Johnson would provide for the possibility for all EU Member States to purchase the vaccine, as well as to donate to lower and middle income countries or re-direct to EEA countries.

“It is anticipated 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 initial purchase of 200 million doses on behalf of all EU Member States, and could further purchase up to an additional 200 million vaccine doses.

“The Commission pursues intensive discussions with other vaccine manufacturers.”

The talks have been carried out with Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said: “Our citizens’ lives and our economy need a safe and effective vaccine against the coronavirus. 

“Today’s talks bring us closer to achieving this.

“The Commission is making every effort, in close cooperation with the Member States and with pharmaceutical companies to actively contribute to this end.”

Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, said: “Today we take a further step in ensuring rapid access to an innovative vaccine being developed against the coronavirus. Our negotiations to secure a broad portfolio of vaccines for our citizens and the world will continue unabated.

“A safe and effective vaccine will decisively contribute to protecting citizens against the virus. We will keep working shoulder to shoulder with our Member States until the vaccine reaches everyone.”

The Commission said the exploratory talks concluded on Thursday are intended to result in an Advance Purchase Agreement to be financed with the Emergency Support Instrument, which has funds dedicated to the creation of a portfolio of potential vaccines with different profiles and produced by different companies.