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Thursday, June 1, 2023

EU, Pfizer/BioNTech to amend COVID vaccine contract


Brussels has agreed with Pfizer (PFE.N) and BioNTech (22UAy.DE) to amend a COVID-19 vaccine contract, cutting the number the EU must buy and pushing the delivery deadline to 2026, a source with knowledge of the talks said.

The agreement, to be announced on Friday, comes after months of talks and amid pressure on Brussels from EU governments to secure a change to the contract because of a global glut of COVID-19 vaccine doses.

The original contract was signed in May 2021 and committed the EU to buy 900 million doses from Pfizer/BioNTech, with an option for an additional 900 million, by the end of 2023.

About half or more of the first 900 million doses from that contract have not yet been delivered because demand dropped last year. The EU has not exercised the additional option.

The contract change cuts by about a third the number of those remaining doses the EU is on the hook to buy, the source said.

But it will have to pay a fee for each cancelled dose, the source said, while declining to say what the fee would be.

The parties will announce the deal on Friday, said the source, who sought anonymity as the talks are confidential.

Discussions are ongoing and remain confidential, said a European Commission spokesperson asked for comment on Friday.

A Pfizer spokesperson added that discussions were held in good faith and remain confidential.

BioNTech did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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