The European Commission yesterday announced the signing of a joint procurement contract with Spanish pharmaceutical company Hipra Human Health to secure the supply of 250 million doses of its protein vaccine against the coronavirus ‘Hipra’.
A total of 14 Member States will participate in this joint procurement, the value of which has not been disclosed by Brussels. Under this agreement, 250 million vials of this protein vaccine will be supplied and will be developed as a booster dose for previously immunised people over the age of 16.
With COVID infections on the rise in Europe, “we must ensure maximum preparedness as we approach the autumn and winter months,” Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said in a statement.
The Spanish vaccine is currently under evaluation by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), so if it receives marketing authorisation, participating countries will be able to purchase the vaccine through this existing contract.
The joint vaccine purchase agreement with Hipra complements previously signed contracts with AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSK, Janssen Pharmaceutica, BioNtech-Pfizer, Moderna, Novavax and Valneva, securing some 4.2 billion doses for the EU market as part of the COVID vaccination strategy.
Participating countries could decide to donate the vaccines to low and middle-income countries or redirect them to other European countries.
Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez yesterday welcomed the signing of the contract, saying it is “very good news” and that it “demonstrates the strength of innovation and the pharmaceutical industry in our country, and also the public-private collaboration that we have developed with this Catalan and Spanish industry, which has borne fruit”.