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Europe Strikes Deal With AstraZeneca For Supply Of With 400 Million Vaccines Of Ciovid-19

Europe Strikes Deal With AstraZeneca For Supply Of With 400 Million Vaccines Of Ciovid-19
The efforts of the European Union to secure vaccines under development for its citizens borne fruit after AstraZeneca Plc signed a contract with European governments to supply the region with its potential vaccine against the coronavirus, the British drug maker said on Saturday. This is the latest deal that the company has made to supply vaccines against the novel coronavirus.
The company said that the latest deal is to manufacture and deliver up to 400 million doses of the vaccine that is being developed by the University of Oxford. It added that new ways to increase its manufacturing capacity was being considered by the company and would be delivering the vaccines on a no profit basis during the period of the pandemic.
Deliveries will start by the end of 2020, the company said.
France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands had formed a group called he Inclusive Vaccines Alliance (IVA) aimed at securing delivery of vaccines for all states of the European Union as soon as possible and the latest deal with the company has been struck by the IVA.
The IVA has agreed to merge its activities with those of the EU Commission, said Germany's Health Ministry at a meeting of EU Health Ministers on Friday.
"With our European supply chain due to begin production soon, we hope to make the vaccine available widely and rapidly," AstraZeneca Chief Executive Pascal Soriot said in a statement.
This deal is the latest that AstraZeneca has struck for its vaccine in development with various governments that are seeking to ensure supply of vaccines against Covid-19 for its citizens. The company has set a target of making 2 billion doses of the vaccine through agreement for manufacturing the vaccines globally. The drug maker has already signed deals with for supply vaccines for two ventures backed by Bill Gates as well as a $1.2 billion agreement with the United States government for its vaccines. 
An AstroZeneca spokesman said that the latest deal will add an additional 100 million doses to the already existing deals for supply of 2 billion doses as committed by the group.
The Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza said in a Facebook post that the vaccine from the company is still in the developmental stage but at an advanced stage and it is expected that the trial stage of the vaccine will be completed by the end of autumn. 
Till date, no approved vaccine or treatment is available for Covid-19, the respiratory disease that is caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic. 
"Many countries in the world have already secured vaccines, Europe has not yet. The rapid coordinated action of a group of member states will create added value for all EU citizens in this crisis," Spahn said.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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