As the covid-19 pandemic worsens again after the Christmas holidays, the European Union (EU) continues its policy of contracting with new laboratories that are manufacturing the coronavirus vaccine.
With Valneva, there are now eight vaccines that the 27 member states will have shortly, thanks to this latest contract from the European Commission.
The first to be authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) was BioNtech-Pfizer last December. Moderna followed and the rest are in the authorisation process. They are AstraZeneca , Sanofi – GSK , Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, CureVac and Novavax . Valneva’s vaccine is the only one so far that uses the traditional method, which consists of inoculating the inactivated virus.
The European Commission has now concluded exploratory talks with the pharmaceutical company Valneva with a view to purchasing its potential vaccine against covid-19. The planned contract with Valneva would offer the possibility for all EU Member States to buy 30 million doses, with an option of 30 million more.
In the case of the two vaccines already approved, BioNtech-Pfizer and Moderna, the talks began last summer and the authorisation process has been carried out in parallel with the investigation of the laboratories in a kind of continuous evaluation by the EMA, to speed up permits.
The exploratory talks with Valneva add to an already secured portfolio of vaccines that will be provided across Europe, including contracts already signed with AstraZeneca, Sanofi-GSK, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV, BioNtech-Pfizer, CureVac and Moderna, plus Novavax, whose talks already concluded.
This diversified portfolio of vaccines will ensure that Europe is well prepared for vaccination, once the vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective, as is already the case with BioNTech-Pfizer and Moderna, the first to apply for authorisation and that are already being used in the EU.
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen , explained that “the continuity of the pandemic in Europe and around the world makes it more important than ever that all Member States have access to the widest possible portfolio of vaccines”
Stella Kyriakides, Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, stated that, “with this eighth vaccine, we can maximize our chances of ensuring that all European citizens can have access to safe and effective vaccines by the end of 2021. Everyone of the Member States has started their vaccination campaigns and will start receiving an increasing number of doses to cover all their needs this year ”.
Valneva will inoculate the inactivated virus
Valneva is a European biotechnology company that develops an inactivated virus vaccine. It is a traditional vaccine technology, used for 60-70 years, with established methods and a high level of safety.
Most seasonal flu vaccines and many childhood vaccines use this technology. This is currently the only inactivated candidate vaccine in clinical trials against COVID-19 in Europe. The Commission, with the support of the EU Member States, has made the decision to endorse this vaccine based on sound scientific evaluation, the technology used, the company’s experience in vaccine development and its production capacity to supply to all EU Member States.