The European Union may pay more than €8.4 billion to secure hundreds of millions of doses of COVID-19 vaccine candidates being developed by Pfizer-Biotech and CureVac, according to an EU official.
As per the information, the EU has agreed to pay €15.50 per dose for the vaccine candidate being developed by Pfizer and BioNTech. This would mean an overall price of up to €3.1 billion for 200 million doses, rising to €4.65 billion if another optional 100 million doses are bought under the agreement. This shows that the EU is paying less per dose than the United States for the initial supply of that vaccine.
The source also stated that the deal provides insurance for EU countries to be compensated if the companies divert doses to the United States.
According to the source: the EU has agreed to pay €10 per dose for an initial delivery of 225 million doses of the vaccine candidate from CureVac, a discount from the €12 the company set as the price for the dose.
The EU signed an agreement with CureVac this week to secure supplies of up to 405 million doses, of which 180 million are optional. However, it is unclear whether the additional 180 million doses would cost €10 or €12 euros. The EU would pay €4.05 billion for 405 million doses under the €10 price.
CureVac had committed to starting deliveries by the end of March, the official source said.
A spokesman for the European Commission declined to comment, saying the terms and price of the vaccine contracts are confidential.
Pfizer and BioNTech stated that they were using a tiered pricing formula based on volume and delivery dates and that the EU deal represented the largest initial order of their vaccine candidate to date. They have not disclosed any other information other than this.
Pfizer and BioNTech said earlier that their vaccine is 95% effective against COVID-19 and can deliver shots before Christmas if they get immediate approval.
Pfizer-BioNTech and CureVac candidates are based on new messenger RNA (mRNA) technology. It is designed to be administered in two doses. This means that the EU’s Pfizer shot will cost €31 to vaccinate one person.
A non-refundable down payment has been made by the EU to secure the supply of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. The amount has not been disclosed, but according to the source, it is estimated that the EU has paid €700 million to the companies.
However, the agreed price of €15.50 per dose would only be paid by those European governments willing to buy the shot, and only if it is approved by the EU regulator as safe and effective.