HERA, the European Commission’s Health Preparedness and Response Authority, has signed a joint procurement Framework Contract with the company HIPRA HUMAN HEALTH for the supply of their protein COVID-19 vaccine. 14 Member States and countries are participating in this joint procurement, under which they can purchase up to 250 million doses. As the number of cases is again on the rise in Europe, this agreement will make the HIPRA vaccine rapidly available to the participating countries, as soon as this vaccine has received a positive assessment by the European Medicines Agency.
Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, said: “With COVID-19 infections on the rise in Europe, we need to ensure maximum preparedness as we head into the autumn and winter months. The HIPRA vaccine adds yet another option to complement our broad vaccine portfolio for our Member States and citizens. An increase in vaccination and boosting is essential over the coming months. We are working tirelessly to make sure there are vaccines available for all. This is our European Health Union in action – preparing ahead and being ready to act.”
The joint procurement contract with HIPRA complements an already broad portfolio of vaccines secured through the EU Vaccines Strategy, including the contracts already signed with AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSK, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, BioNtech-Pfizer, Moderna, Novavax and Valneva. Some 4.2 billion doses have been secured under the EU Vaccines Strategy. This diversified vaccine portfolio will ensure Europe continues to be well prepared for COVID-19 vaccination, using vaccines that have been proven to be safe and effective. Participating countries could decide to donate the vaccines to lower and middle-income countries or to re-direct them to other European countries.
The HIPRA bivalent recombinant protein vaccine, which is currently under rolling review by the European Medicines Agency, is being developed as a booster dose in previously immunized persons 16 years and older. The HIPRA vaccine is stored at refrigerated temperature between 2 and 8ºC, facilitating storage and distribution in Europe and across the world.
The COVID-19 vaccine from HIPRA is currently under rolling review by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). If the vaccine receives a marketing authorisation participating countries will be able to purchase the vaccine through the framework contract in place.
HERA is a key pillar of the European Health Union and a fundamental asset to strengthen the EU’s health emergency response and preparedness. HERA was established in September 2021 to replace ad hoc solutions to pandemic management and response with a permanent structure with adequate tools and resources to plan the EU action in case of health emergencies.
The EU’s Joint Procurement Agreement offers the 36 participating countries to jointly procure medical counter-measures as an alternative or complement to procurement at national level. Framework contracts for COVID-19 therapeutics have previously been concluded with Hoffmann-La Roche and GlaxoSmithKline Ltd for the purchase of monoclonal antibodies, as well as with Gilead for the purchase of an antiviral. HERA continues to work closely with the participating countries to identify and implement priorities for joint procurement.