The European Commission has today 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. 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.
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, 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 exploratory talks concluded today 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.
Today’s conclusion of the exploratory talks with Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, is an important step towards the conclusion of an Advance Purchase Agreement, and therefore towards the implementation of the European Vaccine Strategy, adopted by the Commission on 17 June 2020. This strategy aims to secure for all European citizens high-quality, safe, effective and affordable vaccines within 12 to 18 months. To do so, and together with the Member States, the Commission is agreeing Advance Purchase Agreements with vaccine producers reserving or giving the Member States the right to buy a given number of vaccine doses for a certain price, as and when a vaccine becomes available.
The European Commission is also committed to ensuring that everyone who needs a vaccine gets it, anywhere in the world and not only at home. No one will be safe until everyone is safe.
This is why it has raised almost €16 billion since 4 May 2020 under the Coronavirus Global Response, the global action for universal access to tests, treatments and vaccines against coronavirus and for the global recovery.