The European Union has reached a deal on Tuesday to accelerate the delivery of 10 million doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to member states.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said the doses would be moved forward from the bloc’s third-quarter order and arrive before July.

“I know how critical quarter two is for the rollout of our vaccination strategies in the member states,” the head of the EU executive said.

“These accelerated 10 million doses will bring the total doses of BioNTech/Pfizer in quarter two up to over 200 million,” she added.

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The commission’s vaccine buying plan got off to a slow start with delivery shortfalls from some manufacturers, especially British-Swedish giant AstraZeneca.

But Von der Leyen said the quicker shipments from the US-German alliance would give members “room to manoeuvre and possibly fill gaps in deliveries”.

Brussels has set itself a target of providing enough coronavirus vaccines to offer jabs to 70 per cent of adults in the bloc by the end of summer.

[AFP]

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