EU concludes preliminary talks to buy up to 200 million doses of Novavax COVID vaccine

FILE PHOTO: A small shopping basket filled with vials labeled "COVID-19 - Coronavirus Vaccine" and medical sryinges are placed on a Novavax logo in this illustration taken November 29, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Ilustration

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -The European Union has concluded preliminary talks with U.S. firm Novavax to secure up to 200 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate, a Commission spokesman said on Thursday.

“The envisaged contract foresees the possibility for member states to buy 100 million doses with the option of buying another 100 million doses,” the spokesman said.

Reuters reported in September that the EU was in talks to secure the Novavax vaccine.

The conclusion of preliminary talks opens the way for negotiating a contract with Novavax, in a process that could take weeks or months.

The possible deal with Novavax would be the seventh sealed by the EU with vaccine makers for the supply of COVID-19 shots. It already has agreements with AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer-BioNTech, CureVac, Moderna and Sanofi-GSK for a total of nearly 2 billion doses.

Reporting by Francesco Guarascio and Robin Emmott; Editing by Alex Richardson