Netherlands signs deal with EU nations for coronavirus vaccine
The Netherlands, along with Germany, France and Italy have signed collectively signed a contract for 300 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine that is still currently under development.
The coronavirus vaccine alliance
On Saturday, it was confirmed that four countries: Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands have signed a collective agreement with AstraZeneca, the British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical company.
The terms of the deal have not been disclosed; however, the four countries have paid for the vaccines among themselves. The vaccinations, which could potentially rise to 400 million doses, will be shared across all EU member states that want to participate. If the vaccine is approved, it will be distributed around participating countries according to their population. The population of the EU is around 446 million.
The European Commission has shown its inclination towards advance purchase contracts that will allow guaranteed access to a future vaccine, although the Commission has stated it would prefer to negotiate deals on behalf of EU member states itself.
The race for a vaccine
The vaccine, which is being provided by AstraZeneca, was developed by the University of Oxford and is one of just a few vaccines that are currently in the clinical evaluation phase. The university began clinical trials in April and is now increasing their scope to 10.000 participants.
Since the coronavirus pandemic spread across the world, laboratories everywhere have been racing to develop a vaccine. Instead of the typical few years it takes to develop a vaccine, government sources say that the vaccine could be ready by the end of the year, in just 12-18 months since development began.