BRUSSELS - The European Commission said on Friday it had reached a deal with British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca for the purchase of at least 300 million doses of its potential COVID-19 vaccine.
The EU's executive arm, which is negotiating on behalf of the 27 EU states, said the deal included an option to purchase 100 million additional doses should the vaccine prove safe and effective.
The agreement marks the EU's first advance purchase deal for a potential vaccine against the new coronavirus.
"Today, after weeks of negotiations, we have the first EU Advance Purchase Agreement for a vaccine candidate," EU health commissioner Stella Kyriakides said in a statement.
It follows an initial deal with AstraZeneca reached in June by Europe's Inclusive Vaccines Alliance (IVA), a group formed by France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands to secure vaccine doses for all member states.
The Commission did not disclose the terms of the new deal nor say whether conditions agreed earlier had been modified.
(Reporting by Francesco Guarascio; editing by Jan Harvey and Jason Neely)