The European Commission concluded exploratory talks with the pharmaceutical company Valneva with a view to purchasing its potential vaccine against COVID-19.
The envisaged contract with Valneva would provide for the possibility for all EU Member States to purchase together 30 million doses, and they could further purchase up to 30 million more doses.
This finalisation of exploratory talks with Valneva come in addition to an already secured broad portfolio of vaccines to be produced in Europe, including the contracts already signed with AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSK, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, BioNtech-Pfizer, CureVac, and Moderna and exploratory talks concluded with Novavax. This diversified vaccines portfolio will ensure Europe is well prepared for vaccination, once the vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective, as is already the case for BioNTech/Pfizer and Moderna, recently authorised in the EU. Member States are able to donate vaccines to lower and middle-income countries or to re-direct it to other European countries.
President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said:
“The continuing COVID-19 pandemic in Europe and around the globe makes it more important than ever that all Member States have access to the broadest possible portfolio of vaccines to help protect people in Europe and beyond. Today’s step toward reaching an agreement with Valneva further complements the EU’s vaccines portfolio and demonstrates the Commission’s commitment to find a lasting solution to the pandemic.”
Valneva is a European biotechnology company developing an inactivated virus vaccine. This is a traditional vaccine technology, used for 60-70 years, with established methods and a high level of safety. Most of the influenza vaccines and many childhood vaccines use this technology. This is currently the only inactivated vaccine candidate in clinical trials against COVID-19 in Europe.
The Commission, with the support of EU Member States, has taken a decision to support this vaccine based on a sound scientific assessment, the technology used, the company’s experience in vaccine development and its production capacity to supply all EU Member States.