Today the European Commission, acting together and on behalf of EU Member States, through the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA), and vaccine developers BioNTech-Pfizer, reached an agreement to respond as best as possible in the assessments of the Member States about their changing COVID-19 vaccine needs. The amendment to the existing vaccine supply contract takes into account the improved epidemiological situation, while still ensuring access to the latest available version of the vaccine in the event that worrisome variants of the COVID-19 disease emerge in the future.

The agreement announced today provided the following adjustments to the existing contract:

-reduction in the number of installments purchased by member states under the contract. Installments originally agreed upon will be converted to optional orders upon payment of a fee;
-extending the period of time in which Member States will be able to receive the vaccines — up to 4 years from today;
-possibility to continue to have access to additional doses, up to the initial number agreed, until the end of the contract to cover the needs in the event of an increase in cases and a worsening of the epidemiological situation;
-continuous access to vaccines, which will be adapted to the new variants, once they are approved by the regulatory authorities.

The amendment was achieved following negotiations between vaccine development companies, Member States and the Commission to better align with vaccine strategies and Member States’ changing public health needs.