Boris Johnson has already ordered enough of the Pfizer jab for 40 million people after refusing to join the European Union’s procurement programmes. The European Commission, which is negotiating with pharmaceutical giants on behalf of EU capitals, said in September it had concluded talks with the US firm and its German partner BioNTech to secure 300 million doses. But today top eurocrat Ursula von der Leyen conceded the bloc was still waiting to fully sign an agreement for the potential coronavirus vaccine.
German MEP Peter Liese, a senior member of the EU Parliament’s health committee, said: “According to my information, the respective contract is about to be signed.
“There is an agreement that Europeans will be provided with hundreds of millions of vaccines.”
And Mrs von der Leyen, the Commission’s president, said: “Great news from Pfizer and BioNTech on the successful results of their latest clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine.
EU still to sign a deal to secure Pfizer vaccine for bloc
“European science works!
“EU Commission to sign contract with them soon for up to 300 million doses.”
Downing Street welcomed the results as “promising and “Mr Johnson’s official spokesman today confirmed the purchase of 40 million doses for Britain.
The aide said 10 million would be available before the end of the year as long as the Pfizer jab is green-lighted by regulators.
The Prime Minister’s spokeman said: “The results are promising and while we are optimistic of a breakthrough, we must remember there are no guarantees.”
Scientists at Pfizer said the results of its phase 3 trials were a “great day for science and humanity”/
Dr Bill Gruber, senior vice-president of clinical development, said: “We’re in a position potentially to be able to offer some hope.
“We’re very encouraged.”
Peter Horby, professor of emerging infectious diseases and global health at the University of Oxford, said: “This news made me smile from ear to ear.”
The vaccine was tested on 43,500 people in six countries and no safety concerns were raised.